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Pedestrian deaths laid at engineers' door

ICE News

CIVIL ENGINEERS stand accused of failing society by creating a road network that is too dangerous for pedestrian use, ICE President Mark Whitby has claimed.

Speaking at the ICE Wales conference Integrated Transport: Wales on the Move? , Whitby said that civil engineers must take full responsibility for a road system that statistically has the one of the highest death rates for pedestrians in Europe, and where fewer than quarter of trips are made by foot or bicycle.

'Transport is about people, and about people getting about.

But how much do people walk or cycle?' Whitby asked. 'Just 17% of trips made in the UK are by walking or cycling. The rest of Europe are way ahead, 46% of people walk or cycle in Holland.

'And why, ' Whitby asked.

'Because in Holland you are nine times less likely to be killed or injured than in the UK, and it's the fault of all of you.

'People don't walk because it is dangerous, and what are we as civil engineers doing about it?'

Whitby continued. 'We must start thinking about people because we haven't done enough.'

Whitby ended by presenting Welsh Assembly transport minister Sue Essex with the ICE's sustainability strategy document Society, sustainability and civil engineering, which sets out the ICE's action plan for sustainable construction.

Essex was at the conference to set out the political aspirations behind the Assembly's 10 year Transport Framework, released in November 2001, and to launch its five year programme for intelligent transport systems (ITS) implementation.

The ITS programme aims to provide drivers with high quality and accurate travel information, via roadside message signs, and travel bulletins to the media and through the internet and WAP mobile phones.

Implementation will see the expansion of Traffic Control Centres at Newport and Colwyn Bay and the development of integrated facilities at the purpose built MANTAIS Cymru centre, the National Traffic Information Centre.

A full conference review will appear in ICE News next week.

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