'I tell families they won't get justice in the criminal courts'
This time Ned, Laura and Adam meet Polly Herbert, a solicitor who represents the loved ones of those killed and seriously injured in road traffic collisions.
Working for the law firm Hugh James, Polly represented the family of Frankie Jules-Hough, a pregnant mother-of-two who was killed by a speeding driver who filmed himself driving in excess of 100mph, in May.
In 2022 judges were given the power to hand greater sentences to those convicted of causing death by dangerous driving. With the powers coming into effect in summer 2023, Frankie’s tragic death was widely seen as a test.
Despite Adil Iqbal’s driving being described by the judge as "the worst case of bad driving any of us can recall", Iqbal initially received a 12 year sentence. This was overturned at the court of appeal in October, as unduly lenient, following a campaign by the family, and extended to 15 years.
Ms Jules-Hough’s partner, Calvin Buckley, asked how bad driving would need to be to warrant the full sentence. Iqbal had been driving at 123mph, while filming himself undertaking and swerving along the M66 in Bury in May. Ms Jules-Hough had broken down and was waiting in the vehicle with her two children and a nephew when Iqbal lost control while undertaking a motorbike rider, and hit her at more than 90mph.
The news of Iqbal's sentencing, and the appeal, were covered nationally, including here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-67099209. Calvin Buckley continues to bravely speak up for a culture change among young people, to foster respect on the roads.
In September the All Party Parliamentary Walking and Cycling Group released a Road Justice Report, with ten recommendations, including an end to exceptional hardship, removal of tolerances in speeding cases that allow drivers to exceed the limit without penalty, treating road crash victims as victims of crime, and appointing a commissioner for road danger reduction. You can read the report here: https://allpartycycling.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/APPGCW-Road-Justice-Report-2023.pdf
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12. Solving the problem of cargo bike storage38:40Cycling is booming in London, and in cities around the world, as are cargo bikes. With prices ranging upwards of £2,000, theft is a real and present concern for owners, and a major barrier to more people experiencing the joy and convenience of owning a larger bike, whether for work, carrying children, or as a mobility aid.In this episode Laura travels to north London for a celebration of possibly the UK's first on-street dedicated secure cargo bike parking, joining about 50 other cargo bike fans. She talks to wanna-be cargo bike parents, disabled cyclists and those behind the new cycle hangar, to discuss why cities need more of this kind of thing - and what happens when it's not there.There’s also some extra bonus content on our new Patreon. That’s right - if you want ad-free listening, behind-the-scenes and bonus content and to help support the podcast - head to (https://www.patreon.com/StreetsAheadPodcast). We’ll even send you some stickers! We’re also on Twitter and welcome your feedback on our episode: https://twitter.com/podstreetsaheadIf you're reading this, please can you take 1 minute to give us a rating and write a review? It helps us more than you probably think.Episode edited by Clare Mansell.
11. Mark Nieuwenhuijsen in Barcelona54:07Welcome to this special episode, in which it’s just Laura, her suitcase and one amazing guest, sat on a bench in the middle of one of the city’s famous Superblocks.There’s also some extra bonus content on our new Patreon. That’s right - if you want ad-free listening, behind-the-scenes and bonus content and to help support the podcast - head to (https://www.patreon.com/StreetsAheadPodcast). We’ll even send you some stickers! In late 2023 Laura travelled to Barcelona by train from London. She was curious about the superblocks programme which involved some of the city’s streets being pedestrianised, leaving others as thoroughfares for motor traffic, and introducing things like greenspace and seating to the inner roads. Starting in 2022, streets in the Eixample district were transformed for walking and cycling, with a focus on cutting air pollution, overheating in summer and improving accessibility.On those streets, people can still drive in and out, but through traffic is discouraged. While I was there I met Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, a researcher and professor in urban and transport planning, environment and health, and Director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative, and Head of the Climate, Air Pollution, Nature and Urban Health at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health. Mark has quantified, in his research, the toll poor urban and transport planning has on the environment and health - and some of it is pretty scary. Mark was a delight to interview and I’m excited to share this episode with you.You can find some of Mark Nieuwenhuijsen’s research here:Street pedestrianization in urban districts: Economic impacts in Spanish cities https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S026427512100367X Superblocks’ impact on health, local climate and economy https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019315223?via%3Dihub PASTA research https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/1/e009924Mark's current research can be found here https://ubdpolicy.eu/About the current Superblocks https://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/superilles/es/content/asi-seran-las-nuevas-plaza-y-ejes-verdes-eixample We’re also on Twitter and welcome your feedback on our episode: https://twitter.com/podstreetsaheadIf you're reading this, please can you take 1 minute to give us a rating and write a review? It helps us more than you probably think.This episode was edited by Clare Mansell
10. Our Year in Review42:08And we have reached the end of 2023! What a year that was: we had highs, we had lows, we had some culture wars, we did a podcast in a pub. How was 2023 for you? Ned, Laura and Adam give their perspective.>> Oh, and we're on Patreon! If you'd like to support Streets Ahead, get ad-free listening, behind-the-scenes content AND receive wonderful stickers, please head to:https://www.patreon.com/StreetsAheadPodcast <<We’re also on Twitter and welcome your feedback on our episode: https://twitter.com/podstreetsaheadIf you're reading this, please can you take 1 minute to give us a rating and write a review? It helps us more than you probably think.Episode edited by Clare Mansell.
9. Streets Ahead Live! From Waltham Forest01:11:07For this episode, Ned, Adam and Laura navigated east London's cycle lanes and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods to speak in-person, in front of a live pub audience, to Councillor Clyde Loakes, at the Wanstead Tap in Waltham Forest.For the past decade Cllr Loakes has led his borough's transformation for walking and cycling. Waltham Forest is very much no longer a forest, in North-East London, but has become world famous for its Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, people-friendly high streets and for pioneering high-quality cycle lanes and transforming massive car-dominated junctions in outer London for active travel.During the podcast we talk about political courage, and what the borough has achieved since Clyde's team won an unprecedented £27m from Transport for London back in 2013 for its 'Mini Holland' programme. We discuss how ultimately this kind of transformation, while hard, is possible - even in the most car-centric of places. We discuss the role of a range of players, from campaigners on the outside, to the political and officer support within the council - and the importance of listening to genuine concerns from the public.In a speech in 2018, Cllr Loakes said: ‘I spent years talking about encouraging a shift to bikes and walking without actually doing the things that make a difference. If I am honest - I was tinkering with parking schemes and pandering to car owners. I was not delivering for our community. Then I got a chance to do something extraordinary. We won our Better Waltham Forest mini-Holland bid with low traffic neighbourhoods and protected bike lanes . We had signed up to deliver a huge public health implementation at pace.’ He added: ‘For too long we, in fact I, as a councillor had been focused on maintaining a status quo that did nothing for anyone. But now we have done something extraordinary, a radical intervention that puts people first.’Thank you to Dan at the Wanstead Tap, to everyone who turned out on a rainy Monday night in December, to join us live, and to Pedal Me who cycled our equipment across London.The Healthy Streets Scorecard, which ranks London boroughs based on people-friendly measures, can be found here: https://www.healthystreetsscorecard.london/*That* coffin picture is here: https://twitter.com/mthrel/status/1402221590167838722Clyde Loakes is on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LabourstoneWe’re also on Twitter and welcome your feedback on our episode: https://twitter.com/podstreetsaheadIf you're reading this, please can you take 1 minute to give us a rating and write a review? It helps us more than you probably think.Episode edited by Clare Mansell.
8. Disinformation in Active Travel Part 249:56In the second of a two-part mini-series on online disinformation Laura, Ned and Adam talk to Shayoni Lynn, whose company specialises in the behavioural science of mis- and disinformation, and how to tackle it. After ministers admitted this autumn making decisions based on ‘online discussions’ that veered towards fringe conspiracy theories, around things like 15-minute cities, and as the climate conference COP28 approaches, our guest has some timely insight into the world of disinformation. Shayoni Lynn is founder of Lynn Group, a ‘communications consultancy, powered by behavioural science’. They specialise in helping organisations avoid their work being the subject of disinformation, including those involved in vaccine rollout and mental health services. She authored an article on why sometimes, engaging with disinformation online is the last thing we should be doing, and explains to Streets Ahead other ways of ensuring measures to improve our health and reduce our impact on the environment, aren't foundered by falsehoods.Lynn Global has worked with the Welsh government on the rollout of default 20mph speed limits in built-up areas, the biggest policy the Senedd has enacted so far, and one not without its share of disinformation. Shayoni Lynn explains how our very nature as humans make us susceptible to misinformation and what we can do about it as individuals, as organisations and as nations.This blog discusses why sometimes, engaging with disinformation online is the last thing you want to do: https://lynn.global/the-dangers-of-debating-misinformation/We’re on Twitter and welcome your feedback on our episode: https://twitter.com/podstreetsaheadIf you're reading this, please can you take 1 minute to give us a rating and write a review? It helps us more than you probably think.Episode edited by Clare Mansell.
6. Disinformation in Active Travel Part 144:13Disinformation is seeping from social media into public debate, and even politicians are being sucked in - with real-world consequences for democracy. From 15-minute cities, to ULEZ, active travel has found itself on the frontline of the battle for truth - but what is actually happening, and how does it affect us?In the first of a two-part miniseries on the topic, Adam, Ned and Laura talk to Amil Khan, founder of Valent, a company that “deals with disinformation by understanding who is behind it, what methods they use and who they seek to manipulate”. Amil Khan was a Reuters and BBC journalist who first encountered disinformation campaigns around the Arab Spring in the 2010s. He began investigating the topic for Chatham House and the government and, in 2020, with a government COVID loan, he founded his own company, Valent. There, he and his team investigates the mechanics of disinformation, including on social media platforms.Amil says the company is ‘content agnostic’ - but as well as paid projects it investigates topics of interest to staff… which led to an investigation into anti-ULEZ sentiment online. What it found was one of the most advanced manipulation efforts they have seen in nearly four years of examining such activity in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. An estimated £168,000 had been spent, via ‘spreader accounts’ amplifying genuine anti-ULEZ voices. While against social media company rules, this automated manipulation happens, thanks to a number of companies selling such services under vaguely concealed euphemisms.Amil talks us through the mechanics of dis- and misinformation online, how it happens, how to tackle it, and the consequences for active travel, and indeed democracy.We’re on Twitter and welcome your feedback on our episode: https://twitter.com/podstreetsaheadIf you're reading this, please can you take 1 minute to give us a rating and write a review? It helps us more than you probably think.Episode edited by Clare Mansell.
5. Safe Streets Now: Britain's Stop de Kindermoord moment?48:37Safe Streets Now was born out of growing concerns over what campaigners have called an epidemic of speeding and red light jumping in Birmingham. Better Streets for Birmingham saw residents collect data on speeding and red light jumping in the city earlier this year, a citizen science project that attracted attention with the scale of the significant problem it revealed on the roads. Then, over the summer, a tragic string of hit and run collisions galvanised those concerns. Children were, tragically, among those killed, and residents across Birmingham have decided enough is enough. More voices have now joined the call for action nationwide, and on 30 September protests are planned in towns and cities across England to call for ‘Peace, Space and Justice’ on the roads. This co-ordinated outcry over the loss of children's freedoms and safety is, perhaps, the closest thing the UK has had to the Dutch 'Stop de Kindermoord' moment that pushed for a reversal of car dominance in the 1970s Netherlands. Could this be the start of an equally powerful movement here?Joining Streets Ahead to discuss the issue is Mat MacDonald, who founded Better Streets for Birmingham earlier this year, and is also the coordinator of Safe Streets Now, and Sarah Chaundler, a video journalist who interviews fellow parents concerned about dangerous driving on Birmingham streets. There are 15 actions in 13 towns and cities at the time of writing. To find out more about the protests, and to see if there's one near you, visit: https://safestreetsnow.co.uk/We’re on Twitter and welcome your feedback on our episode: https://twitter.com/podstreetsaheadIf you're reading this, please can you take 1 minute to give us a rating and write a review? It helps us more than you probably think.Episode edited by Clare Mansell.
4. Lee Waters, Wales’ ‘no more roads’ man50:35This time Ned, Adam and Laura are talking about roads. Are they good, are they bad, and do we really need to take sides? In a week where the Prime Minister claimed there’s a ‘side’ where driving is concerned, we look to Wales, where they're taking perhaps a more balanced approach to transport. Lee Waters is Wales’ Deputy Minister for Climate Change. He works in a department that brings together society's most polluting sectors and seeks to reduce their carbon emissions, not least for the sake of future generations. In February 2023, following a Roads Review, the Welsh Senedd announced it wouldn’t be investing in new roads unless they contribute to a modal shift towards public transport and/or active travel. While this announcement was spun as a 'ban' on all new roads, it in fact simply raised the bar for roadbuilding. Lee Waters talks to Streets Ahead about the thinking behind the move, the challenges, and why giving people clean transport options - and genuine alternatives to driving - is not a party political issue.You can read more about Wales' roads review, and the report on the future of Welsh roadbuilding, here: https://www.gov.wales/future-road-investment-wales. As the chair of the roads review panel, Lyn Sloman, put it: "The challenge of our time is to achieve a prosperous economy and a fairer society whilst protecting and enhancing the environment, for our own well-being and that of future generations." We’re on Twitter and welcome your feedback on our episode: http://www.twitter.com/podstreetsaheadIf you're reading this, please can you take 1 minute to give us a rating and write a review? It helps us more than you probably think.Episode edited by Clare Mansell.