Monday, 7 March 2011

Today in the Daily Telegraph Newspaper

In the Daily Telegraph today Mr Penning, Minister for Road Safety had this to say about the School Crossing Patrol Service cuts...
“We are committed to improving road safety,” he said.
"The importance of tackling the country’s deficit means that we have had to make tough decisions in all areas of our spending.
“However, we have also removed ring-fencing from local authority grants so that councils are able to set their own priorities.
“We would expect that road safety would remain a priority for local communities and that local spending would reflect that.
"Tackling child road casualties is a priority and we have launched a new initiative targeting those areas with higher than average child road casualty rates to help children stay safe on the roads.”
I have written to Mr Penning suggesting that a petition put before the Welsh Assembly had the right idea.
We call upon the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to make it a condition of acceptance of any Welsh Assembly Government Transport Grant, that the relevant council continues to employ School Crossing Patrols to safeguard our children. In particular, maintaining the existing number and location of patrols as existed in 2010 and that the status of these patrols not change unless approved by the majority of parents at the relevant schools.
 The arguments behind this petition are simple:
  • central govt funding to local councils for transport (includes pedestrians) is designed to improve it; make it safer and more effiecient.
  • Obviously safety is the number one criteria
  • transport grants include safer routes to schools
  • Removing lollipop persons makes transport more dangerous i.e. the opposite of improvement
  • Thus there should be no transport grants of any type from cental govt to local councils where they are acting to make things more dangerous by removing lollipop persons
This all sounds sensible to me, but I'm not sure that common sense plays much part in governing. Let's hope I'm wrong.

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