Month: December 2022

Mothers and fathers are left wondering why they have outlived a child

To mark the 30th birthday of RoadPeace, the Gallery@OXO in London will exhibit When Lives Collide, the stories of 30+ berieved families through portraits by Paul Wenham-Clarke, a Professor of Photography at Arts University Bournemouth

These include:

  • Lucy Harrison, of Redditch, Worcestershire, whose brother Peter Price was killed while walking by a hit-and-run driver at 93mph
  • Emma Butler and Mark Hackett, whose son Lee Ferguson, from Dudley, was killed in a crash while riding his motorbike
  • Jane Evans, from Birmingham, whose husband was killed in a hit-and-run collision outside the school they both worked at. The driver has never been found
  • Bev Abbey, whose 19-year-old son, Harry, was killed in Warrington while riding his motorbike to work
  • Steve Newcam, whose wife Annette Booth was killed by a drunk driver in Leicester
  • Mandy Gayle, whose father Hopton Gayle was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Wolverhampton
  • Diane Gall, of Dudley, whose husband Martyn was killed while cycling
  • Kate Uzzel (below), from North Somerset, whose husband Martyn was killed in North Yorkshire while taking part in a charity bike ride from Land Ends to John O’Groats

Professor Wenham-Clarke said: “These images serve as a window into the soul of people who have experienced a nightmare, and they address the emotional consequences of devastating collisions, which radiate out like waves on a pond.

“Some of the portraits capture raw emotions as they surge and flow through the participants, ranging from grief-stricken crying to smiling, as they remember their lost one. Mothers and fathers are left wondering why they have outlived a child and lovers are separated forever with no opportunity to say goodbye.”

Gallery@OXO, OXO Tower Wharf, London SE1 from Wednesday 4th January to Sunday 15th January, 2023

Illogically illegal and an illogical coroner

Fatima Abukar died earlier this year while riding an e-scooter.

This is what the investigation found:

Here is what Green Street looks like

A typical busy shopping street that is awful to use on two wheels. Most of the drivers of those motor vehicles are not there to shop, but to go somewhere else from somewhere else. In other words they are intruders: they bring noise, pollution and death. People have been brainwashed in accepting this as normal.

One of the zombies is Graeme Irvine, senior coroner in east London. He was obviously distressed by the killing of a 14 year old. However, instead of pointing the finger at the intruders, at the people who bring death to the street, he claims that the preventable cause of the collision was the e-scooter.

Without any grasp of statistics, Irvine noticed a correlation between Police enforcement action against e-scooter riders and number of deaths

E-scooters have been acknowledged as a useful arm of the micromobility revolution that will make our cities more liveable. That is why most European cities have successful hire schemes. The only reason why a citizen cannot ride one’s own legally purchased e-scooter in England is that authorities are too lazy to change illogical regulations. If e-hire scooters are deemed safe, why shouldn’t private ones be, if properly vetted?

So Irvine has written a non-sensical Prevention of Future Deaths report to:

basically saying that e-scooters are a problem, not a solution.

When will these people accept that motor vehicles in busy shopping streets are THE problem?

Interactive web tool helps participatory design of LTNs

A/B Street is an open source web tool designed to help citizens and Council officers play around with ideas on how best to implement a Low Traffic Neighbourhood.

The project started in collaboration with Bristol City Council, who were aiming to engage with residents in East Bristol in designing a Liveable Neighbourhood in their area

The Turing Institute reports:

To capture Bristol residents’ needs, BCC launched a process with three phases: co-discover, co-develop, and co-design.

First, they collected feedback through online citizen engagement platform Commonplace, and paper surveys, on residents’ current experiences of their neighbourhood, aggregated on a digital map.

Second, they invited a diverse group of residents to attend virtual and in-person sessions to learn about the different street design options, and propose ideas based on their priorities. To reach people who may not typically attend public consultations, such as those new to the UK or who don’t speak English as their first language, BCC worked directly with volunteers (‘community champions’) in ethnic minority communities.

Third, BCC will now analyse these resident designs and work with traffic engineers to propose two schemes to pilot in East Bristol in 2023.

To facilitate the participation of citizens, BCC used the A/B Street tool

This interactive web tool allows anyone to visualise how small street changes, such as redirecting car traffic from certain residential streets, will affect the route options of cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. In other words, it provides a shared canvas for residents, planners and policy makers to suggest, discuss and evaluate street designs. With a similar look and feel to other mapping apps, A/B Street can make creating a street design as easy as planning a route on Open Street Maps. Beyond usability, the tool’s map-based interface also helps BCC to answer questions that it has struggled to answer in the past, such as “where will traffic divert if we make a change on this street?”.

The A/B Street team is now working with planners and residents on street-design projects in places as varied as Islington, Taipei and Seattle.

Police officer who caused crash where two people died cleared by Jury

One afternoon in 2016, two police officers were driving in Penge, South London, when they identified a stolen Ford Focus in front of them. The Police driver activated his lights and sirens but the driver of the stolen car chose not to stop and accelerated in a dangerous manner.

What happened next was a mad chase with speeds over 100kph in residential roads, through red lights and driving the wrong way down one way streets. It could only end badly, and tragically it did end: the car thief lost control and killed two people.

Before the chase the thief posed no threat to members of the public; it was clearly the irresponsible action of the police officers which caused the crash. The chase lasted 6 minutes, over 6 km. Any professional driver would have been in no doubt that the chase was extremely dangerous and that the danger created by the chase was totally disproportionate to the threat that the thief constituted before the fateful encounter.

It is difficult to understand how anyone could argue that the police driver and his companion are not guilty of causing the death of two innocent people. Indeed one year after the crash, the Independent Police Complaints Commission sent the folder of its investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service. The latter decided to drop the charges against the navigator (even though there is no evidence he tried to stop his companion) but went ahead prosecuting the driver

Interestingly, following the incident, the Police Federation started to lobby for a licence to kill:

The Police Federation has held several meetings with ministers over the proposal to exempt pursuit drivers from prosecution for dangerous or careless driving – providing they have followed their training.

The car thief was duly convicted of two counts of manslaughter by gross negligence and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Six years after the crash, the case against the police driver finally came to court

The Prosecutor case:

“On any sensible analysis the risk posed by the pursuit, taking account of the driving of both vehicles, was at a higher level of risk,

“PC Welch engaged in a chase where to do so was inappropriate, and, more importantly, persisted in that chase when it should have been clear that this was disproportionate and posed a clear risk to other road users and pedestrians.

“This was not a police officer heading to an emergency, let alone an emergency involving a risk to life.

“Rather, all he wanted to do was to speak to the driver.”

The jury disagreed and acquitted the police officer

Yet another case that shows that road crime should not be tried by jury.

New phase in Milan Open Square project targets school streets

In the past 4 years the city of Milan has rejuvenated 40 public squares and streets, by giving them back to citizens.

Following the playbook used by Janette Sadik-Khan in New York, the transformations were introduced as temporary measures. The typical objections by the usual suspects melt away after a few months, as everyone can see the massive improvements in quality of life.


Now the local authority is asking schools and citizens to propose new spaces outside kindergartens and schools.

Coupled with the plan of a 750 km network of cycle tracks in the metropolitan area, the Open Squares programme is transforming the Northern Italian city once famous for its smog.

And for all those cities too timid to reduce car-centric wastelands, please note: Mayor Sala was comfortably re-elected.