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Kate Uzzell Welcomes Surveying 'Recognition'

Kate Uzzell met Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill before her husband's death was cited in a Parliamentary debate

A Clevedon widow has welcomed a Government pledge to look at developing 'best practice' for council road surveyors.

Kate Uzzell has been calling for the guidance given to councils to be updated following the death of husband Martyn in 2011.

After Mr Uzzell struck a pothole while cycling and ended-up in the path of a car, Kate and The Breeze have discovered that while councils are required to consider 'all road users' in practice more weight is given to cars.

Kate has since developed six cycling-specific principles which she would like included in guidance, which The Government is currently reviewing.

This week Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill met with Kate to confirm he wants all councils to learn from each other in terms of road surveying to improve standards.

He also announced The Department For Transport is looking to 'survey footpaths and cycle ways so that can be taken into account in the way we fund councils'.

Mr Goodwill, who regularly cycles in North Yorkshire where Martin died, told Kate The Government has given the authority there an additional £5 million to 'address road deterioration" and announced £1 billion in the spending review for local authorities to 'manage roads more effectively'.

Kate's campaign has also been backed by Labour's shadow cycling minister Daniel Zeichner

Speaking during a recent Parliamentary debate (click here to watch)  he said: "I recently met Kate who is here watching the debate today.

"Her husband Martyn died in 2011 while on a charity cycle ride after hitting a pothole and ending-up in the path of a car.

"The Government said in their recent road safety statement that behind every collision and statistic there is an individual story. They are right these are real policies that affect real lives - that's why investment in cycling infrastructure and safety must never be an after thought.

"Kate is here today because she is passionate about making sure that we do everything possible to make sure that what happened to Martyn doesn't happen to others."

In an exclusive interview with The Breeze Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill said: "Some local authorities are already doing really well and what we need to do is get the worst performing up to the speed of the best performing.

"It is very important that local authorities understand the state of their road but also when there is a report of a dangerous pothole they take action as quickly as possible.

"There are some very good apps which cyclists can use where they can photograph the pothole, they can send that through and then it registers exactly the location where that is  - so I would encourage cyclists who do want councils to get on top of the potholes to use those types of apps.

"I've seen some very good examples; in Oldham for example who gave a very good system and down in Kent as well so there are some councils already doing very well but it has to be stressed that when we came to power just over five years ago there was a tremendous backlog of repairs and we have addressed that by giving money specifically to councils to do that.

"Looking to the future we are doing work now to survey footpaths and cycle ways so that can be taken into account in the way we fund councils so it is not just about roads it is actually about designated cycling and walking routes. "

 

Click play to hear reporter Andrew Kay's report from Parliament

 

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