Dawn Primarolo MP's response to constituents regarding the 'Living Streets' campaign:
"Thank you for contacting me in support of the ‘Living Streets’ campaign to make our streets safer for older pedestrians.
I share your concern that fast moving traffic, difficult crossings and obstacles on the pavement can cause problems for pedestrians, including older people. At a time when we are all being persuaded to make fewer journeys by car it is vital that alternative methods of transport - including public transport, cycling and walking - are safe and attractive options for everyone. Fewer cars on the road will mean less congestion and fewer emissions, as well as health benefits for individuals.
My view is that we need a long-term approach to making our streets safer and more accessible. Labour MPs recently supported changes to the Infrastructure Bill in Parliament to require the Government to publish a strategy which establishes a long-term commitment and funding to increase rates of walking and cycling, including in the planning of infrastructure projects.
I believe we must invest in good walking and cycling routes in our local communities and I welcome initiatives such as the project currently being taken forward by the Greater Bedminster Neighbourhood Partnership which seeks to improve walking routes in the local area by removing obstacles, improving signage and making key walkways more attractive for pedestrians.
As you may know, the Living Streets manifesto calls for a number of measures to be introduced to encourage more people to walk and cycle, including: a national action plan on sustainable travel, adopting a long-term investment structure, introducing 20mph zones in urban areas (as we have seen here in Bristol), banning pavement parking across the country and increasing road crossing times. I agree that all these issues need to be carefully considered in the run up to the 2015 General Election and that pedestrians and cyclists should be at the heart of future decisions on road planning and transport policy.
On behalf of local residents, I have recently written to the Transport Minister regarding the need for greater national consistency on pavement parking and I believe that we should consider extending the 'Active Travel' legislation (introduced by the Labour Government in Wales) to England as this would place duties on local authorities to promote walking and cycling and improve conditions for vulnerable road users.
I welcome the commitment by Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary that, if a Labour Government is elected in May, we will: restore national targets to cut deaths and serious injuries on our roads, review how the justice system protects vulnerable road users and develop national plans for cycling and sustainable transport.
I hope this reply is helpful. Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views on this matter. I can assure you that I will continue to follow this issue closely and bear in mind the points you raise.
Labour MP for Bristol South"