This morning I was at Northfield Station to speak to rail users who are fed up by yet another increase in the price of fares on our railways.
Commuters told me of their frustration and anger as they have watched train fares surge as their wages have stagnated.
At the start of 2018, the Government and private train companies increased the price of rail fares by an average of 3.4%. This is the biggest annual increase in five years and fares have already gone up by 32% since the Conservatives entered Government in 2010.
The Government are failing to stand up for rail passengers. Labour would bring our railways into public ownership to make sure that passengers are put at the heart of decision-making on our railways and to provide the investment that our railways desperately needs.
This week is Road Safety Week, an invaluable initiative for keeping our roads as safe as possible, organised by the road safety charity Brake.
As part of Road Safety Week, I took part in an event organised by Vision Express and Brake to try out a simulator that replicates the impact of glaucoma on a driver’s field of vision in order to highlight the importance of regular eye testing for road safety.
Deterioration of eye sight can be gradual and often people won’t realise that their vision has deteriorated over time – in fact 40% of your vision can be lost without you even noticing.
Regular eye tests help to pick up changes in sight to ensure that problems can be treated to help prevent a deterioration in eye sight. Across the UK, over 2 million people are living with sight loss, 50% of which is preventable and could be addressed through regular eye check-ups.
It is a similar case for glaucoma, the single biggest preventable cause of sight loss – half of people living with glaucoma are undiagnosed – yet this could immediately be detected by an eye test.
Eye tests really do safe lives. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties in the UK a year.
Every person killed or injured on our roads is one too many. We all have a responsibility to identify what more we can do to make the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads a reality.
Over 1.5 million licence holders have never had an eye test and all drivers have a responsibility to ensure that they regularly get their eyes tested.
The NHS recommend that you should get your eyes tested every two years, and more often if advised. Not only does an eye test check whether you need glasses, it can also identify a number of underlying health conditions, and makes our road safer for everyone.
You can find out more about road safety week here – http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/
Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham Northfield, has today been awarded a parliamentarian road safety award by charity Brake and Direct Line.
The award recognises Richard’s long-standing involvement in transport and his commitment to road safety, particularly during his time as Shadow Transport Minister between 2013 and 2017. Richard has established himself as a strong supporter of the transport safety agenda across the years; promoting new vehicle technologies and calling for tougher law enforcement and sentencing.
As MP for a vehicle manufacturing heartland, Richard Burden has strong connections to vehicle development, and has consistently urged the industry to develop safe, sustainable and fair practices. Safe vehicles are a vital part of the safe systems agenda that works towards a future with zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Richard is a worthy winner of this parliamentarian road safety award. Improved vehicle safety standards are vital to reducing needless deaths and serious injuries on the road. His tireless work to raise the safety bar of new vehicles is to be applauded, alongside his numerous achievements in his four years as Shadow Transport Minister.”
Accepting his award, Richard Burden MP said: “I want to thank Brake and Direct Line for selecting me for a parliamentary road safety award which I feel honoured to receive. Progress in vehicle design and the rapid technological advancement in intelligent, connected and automated control systems have real potential to help make our roads safer. Together with action to promote best practice in road design, road user education and more effective enforcement of regulations, they can and do save lives.
“Much has been achieved but every person killed or injured on our roads is one too many. That should remind us all of our continuing responsibility to identify what more we can do to make the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads a reality. I pay tribute to Brake and Direct Line for the work they do make our roads safer and to promote awareness amongst road users.”
Responding to the announcement, Richard Burden MP, Labour’s Shadow Aviation Minister, commented:
“Safety and security of passengers must always be the overriding priority for Government and for airline operators. If the Government has evidence that the level of security checks on passengers carrying electronic devices is of exceptional concern in the countries they have listed, then it is right that prompt precautionary action should be taken.
“This announcement does however leave a number of important questions unanswered and we are seeking urgent clarification from Ministers on these points. It’s important the Government set out clearly the precautionary steps they have taken in response to advice from security services to reassure passengers and the public. The Government must also work with airline operators to ensure all passengers are given the necessary information and flights can continue where appropriate with as minimal disruption as possible.”
Welcome to my latest Parliamentary newsletter. This covers local issues and developments as well as my actions in Parliament. As ever, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on these or any other issues.
In Birmingham Northfield
The Boundary Commission published their proposals for changes to Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England. Under these proposals, Birmingham would be set to lose one Parliamentary seat overall. There would still be a constituency called Birmingham Northfield, but it would be very different to the current one. Read more