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Former minister David Jamieson speaks out on 'scandal' of child road safety cash

A CHILD in north Solihull is three times more likely to be killed on the roads than one in the south of the borough, accident figures show.

A CHILD in north Solihull is three times more likely to be killed on the roads than one in the south of the borough, accident figures show.

Yet Solihull council is now quizzed over why it is focusing most of its Safer Routes to School programme in the south.

The question comes from former Labour government minister David Jamieson who has moved backed to the borough after a spell at Westminster.

He is accusing the Conservative-led Council of not doing enough to protect schoolchildren in Chelmsley Wood and surrounding areas from danger.

And he has called on the council to introduce 20mph speed limits for traffic around all schools in the borough to improve safety for pupils.

Mr Jamieson, pictured, who was Road Safety Minister in the Blair government from 2001 to 2005 and now lives in Solihull, made his plea as the Government announced a new strategy to reduce road deaths in England and Wales through to 2020.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children,” he said. “In too many areas of Solihull, particularly in the north of the borough, children face hazards from motorists who are travelling too fast.

“In the north of Solihull, a child is three times more likely to be killed in a road accident than in the south. So why is Solihull Council focusing most resources in its Safer Routes to School programme in the south? Funding should go to where the casualties are greatest.

“I believe that making it the norm to have 20mph zones around our schools, even if it is for just those times when children are on the move, could make journeys to and from school much safer.”

Councillor Ted Richards, council cabinet member for transport, highways and infrastructure, said: “Bringing in a 20mph speed limit outside schools is something we will look at but Solihull already has a very good record on safety for schoolchildren. We would need the support of the police to enforce such a measure.

“It is true that north Solihull is among the areas more prone to road accidents involving children but I refute any claim the council is not giving enough attention to this problem. We look at the borough as a whole.”

 

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