New report shows need for driving bans

I was involved in taking evidence and drawing up the recommendations in the new report from the Parliamentary cycling group. Many of the stories I heard were of injustice, as the rules of the road are either unenforced by overstretched police or sidestepped through the use of legal loopholes.

For example, does anyone seriously think that the number of driving bans has fallen by 62% over the last 10 years because the quality of our driving has improved? The rules on claiming ‘hardship’ to avoid a driving ban haven’t changed, but the inclination of Magistrates to let people off has. When the ‘exception’ becomes the norm, then the law has to be changed to close the loophole and ensure that dangerous drivers are taken off the road and restricted to using buses/taxis.

The Guardian has a good summary of the report here


Government ignores London’s pollution cloud

London has suffered two major air pollution episodes so far this winter and the Government appears to have ignored both.  I have written a series of questions asking about health warnings to the public and advising people to avoid driving in polluted areas. Also, why they haven’t released the figures from a study into deaths related directly to the air pollution episode in 2012. Continue reading “Government ignores London’s pollution cloud”

Creating NICE pollution free towns

The NICE guidance could have been written at any point during the last sixteen years, from any number of organisations putting the case for incremental change. It is sensible stuff and yet completely inadequate as a road map for local authorities acting belatedly to deal with a huge public health scandal. It is a set of good ideas without any sense of priority for cash-strapped councils. For example, driver training to reduce fuel use and emissions is equivalent to congestion charging for congested areas, while planting vegetation in open areas is alongside parking controls, or creating the infrastructure for zero emission vehicles. All very sensible. Continue reading “Creating NICE pollution free towns”

Green Baroness on pollution monitoring tour


I joined Matt Newell from the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) on a tour of London’s pollution hotspots today, using a Chinese made handheld pollution monitor (measuring PM2.5). I wanted to get a realistic picture of what pollution is like for the people who have to put up with air pollution in order to make a living. The taxi trade has become increasingly concerned about the impacts of air pollution in recent years on the health of drivers, their passengers, and the Londoners they serve. Continue reading “Green Baroness on pollution monitoring tour”

Drink driving limit- another sensible bit of law reform

“I don’t understand why England and Wales have one of the highest drink drive limits in Europe and I’ve asked the Transport Minister in the Lords to explain exactly how this doesn’t make our roads more dangerous than other people’s?


Continue reading “Drink driving limit- another sensible bit of law reform”

Police officers, like the rest of us, deserve more legal protection from drivers

The severe injuries inflicted on a woman police officer and her colleague on Sunday night, by someone driving a car are terrible and awful, but not exceptional. In the last seventeen years, seven police officers on foot have been killed while doing their duty and the drivers jailed. A further two officers died horribly when their car was deliberately rammed by a drunk driver. I am excluding all the deaths in road traffic incidents that come from misjudgments and have been classed as so-called ‘accidents’. The nine deaths were the result of officers trying to stop criminals who used half a ton of metal as a weapon.img_5989

Continue reading “Police officers, like the rest of us, deserve more legal protection from drivers”

702 bus deaths and serious injuries prompt legislative amendment from Green Peer

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb has tabled an amendment to the Bus Services Bill aiming to improve the safety record of bus operators [1]. New figures show that in 2015 there were 5,381 collisions with buses and coaches, of which 64 resulted in deaths and 638 resulted in serious injuries. Buses are three times more likely than cars to be involved in a collision resulting in a death or serious injury [2]. Continue reading “702 bus deaths and serious injuries prompt legislative amendment from Green Peer”