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Whitby cod


Mark Whitby accuses the engineering profession of being responsible for hundreds if not thousands of pedestrian deaths in the UK (NCE 30 May). It seems the President has rapidly become an expert in transport safety.

He claims that just 17% of trips in the UK are by walking and cycling yet the National Travel Survey indicates 28%. He also claims that the rest of Europe is 'way ahead' of the UK. While it is true that we walk and cycle less than the rest of the EU by about 20%, the Spanish, Portuguese and Luxembourgers cycle much less.

Whitby argues that in the Netherlands 'you are nine times less likely to be killed or injured than in the UK'. This is certainly not the case for pedestrian fatalities where the incidence in the Netherlands is just over twice the UK rate.

Those of us who work in transport engineering are aware of a range of factors contributing to these accident.

For example, the Dutch have 2.35 times as many motorways per head as the UK and the network is 3.8 times as dense.

This means that proportionally more traffic goes on pedestrian free motorways and so must contribute to lower pedestrian accident rates.

It is refreshing to see the President expressing a view on a range of issues, but not to see him readily blame his colleagues for such dire deeds without compelling evidence.

David Bayliss (F), david. bayliss5@btinternet.


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