Kidical Mass and #SafeStreetsNow

Last year, just after the international Kidical Mass rides in September, campaigners from across the UK organised protests in their towns and cities against the tide of road collisions that had killed, injured and threatened road users – drivers, pedestrians, cyclists – in recent months. This was a broad coalition of campaigners, individuals and organisations, focused around the hashtag #SafeStreetsNow.

After both the Kidical Mass rides and the #SafeStreetsNow protests, the organisers of many of these events from across the country came together to plan a joint action for April 20th, focused particularly on the forthcoming local, mayoral, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections, and with an eye on an upcoming general election too.

Together, we drew up a vision “to campaign to minimise road danger through improved driver and vehicle regulation in conjunction with people-centred design of our public spaces” and a set of demands targeted at national government, the police and the judicial system, and local government.

Why SafeStreetsNow?

In North Tyneside in 2023, 305 people were recorded as road casualties, with 49 suffering serious injuries and two fatal. Of these, 9 serious and 34 slight injuries were inflicted on children under 16. We have already seen 10 serious injuries on the borough’s roads in 2024. And since 2020, there have been a total of 189 fatal or serious injuries on our roads, in every part of the borough.

Each of these casualties creates distress for families, with often ongoing mental and physical health impacts, even for slight injuries. And the wider context of dangerous driving and poor road design creates a climate of fear which deters people of all ages from walking, wheeling and cycling for local journeys.

In North Tyneside, we want to see the council elected on May 2nd:

  • Prioritising routes to schools in the local cycling and walking infrastructure plan and committing to delivering safe routes to all schools by September 2025;
  • Establishing school streets outside every primary school in the borough by September 2025 (or introducing other extensive safety measures where a school street simply isn’t possible);
  • Creating 4 low-traffic neighbourhoods by the end of 2025, with an initial focus on those neighbourhoods where pedestrian and cyclist KSIs are highest and those that would enable genuinely quiet routes to and through our towns.

We call on all North Tyneside politicians to commit to these priorities.

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