20 mph (30 km/h) activist Rod King receives high ranked award

on Nov 28, 2013

Rod King, our British member of the ECI citizens´ committee and Founder of “20sPlentyforUs“, is invited to Buckingham Palace today and receiving the very prestigious award  “Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”. Rod was already on the Queen´s list of honoured guests when she celebrated her birthday in June 2013. He is awarded for his services to Road Safety. Congratulations Rod! We are excited for you and very proud to have you in our partner network and co-operate with you! Enjoy the …. day at Buckingham Palace!

Rod, who has been working for road safety for many years, says that his success is mainly due to the great campaigners and that a main inspiration for his activities on the 30 km/h (20 mph) speed limit has been a visit to the German town Hilden.

It was in 2004 when he visited the German twin town of his own home in Warrington and realised that the foundation of their successful walking and cycling strategies was a decision made in 1990 to adopt a 30km/h speed limit for most streets. With 23% of in town trips made by bicycle and promotion of public transport this had led not only to a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists but one with 40 fewer cars per 100 people travelling than in Warrington.

This transformed his opinion on road safety as he realised that in the UK they were inadequately trying to protect cyclists (and pedestrians) within a road environment where  vehicle speeds were 60% higher than in Hilden. And so a personal campaign was launched both within Warrington and nationally to ask for 20mph limits on most residential streets. What has subsequently been termed “Total 20”.

In 2007 he set up 20’s Plenty for Us in order to assist communities who wanted lower speeds on their roads but required advice and guidance on how this could be done. The voluntary organisation now has 200 local campaigns and has been influential in the Total 20 policies already adopted by local authorities with a total population of 12m people.

Rod King comments on the honour he is receiving today:

To be honoured with an MBE for “Services to Road Safety” is significant not only as recognition of my personal efforts but also of the enormous progress which has been made in establishing lower speeds as the norm on community roads. We are moving from a past tradition of accepting that motor vehicles could dominate where people lived, worked and shopped into one where we share the streets more equitably and enable people to choose to walk or cycle without fear of fast traffic.

It really is “Time for 20” and this honour is very gratefully received. Perhaps most of all it signifies that 20’s Plenty for Us is much more than a campaign for change, but is a movement towards a more civilised way of sharing our streets.”

 See the website www.20splentyforus.org.uk



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