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NEWS ROUNDUP: Leeds road deaths inquiry

 

28/10/21 | Leeds local news | Leeds road deaths inquiry | A former Leeds MP has called on deaths due to road crashes to be made into a public health issue.

An inquiry into Leeds road deaths heard heartbreaking personal stories from the parents of children, who called for more to be done to reduce the number of those killed and seriously injured on Leeds’s roads – known as the KSI number – to be reduced to zero.

The comments came during a meeting of Leeds City Council’s  number of serious road accidents in the city, which had increased in the run-up to the pandemic.

Coun Paul Truswell (Lab), who now represents Middleton Park on Leeds City Council, told the meeting: “Up to 2010 the figures for KSI were declining, therefore the targets set reflected that. Since then the figures have at worst increased and at best plateaued.

“We are all aware that the number of KSI has declined during the pandemic for reasons that are pretty obvious, but I don’t think any of us are living in any kind of fool’s paradise that that is likely to remain at that level unless serious steps are taken.

“I would probably agree that it should be seen as a public health issue, and I don’t think that has been taken to account in the past.”

Ian Greenwood is a road safety campaigner who lost his young daughter Alice in a road traffic collision back in 2008.

The crash took place on a country road when a recently-qualified driver was racing with his friends at night, before losing control of the vehicle and crashing into the car of Ian and his family.

He told the meeting: “As well as death, devastation and the impact on people like me and my family, there are thousands of other people who are affected by this every single year.

“There are other impacts as well – pressures on hospitals and mental health, and links to crime and antisocial behaviour, congestion, people being put off walking or cycling.

“These are not ‘accidents’,” he added. “They are mostly preventable crashes.

“After the worst of the global pandemic, we have a real opportunity to move everybody forward.

“It’s too late for Alice, and for others, but I really do think you can make a difference and stop this happening to anybody else, because it is s**t.”

While the number of casualties overall reduced between 2016 and 2019, the number of serious and fatal injuries increased from 333 to 356, with a high of 26 deaths in 2018 alone.

One of those to lose their lives on Leeds roads in 2018 was Paula Knight’s 19-year-old son Declan, following a road traffic crash in Horsforth back in 2018.

Declan was in a car with five of his friends on the way home from a party. Because of the weight in the car, the driver lost control of the vehicle before crashing into another motorist.

Ms Knight said: “I suffer with PTSD, and I know I’m not the only one. No matter how old your child is, I’m his mum, and to lose somebody you bring into this world, it does not feel right.

“Had they made a decision to pay £5 in a taxi, things would have been different.”

She added that many schools have been hosting events to warn teenage students about the dangers of irresponsible driving.

Jill Walshaw lost her son Matty, who was in the car as Declan.

She said: “You see the knock on the door in films, and you never think it will happen to you. Three years on, I still feel like I’m in a film.

“I feel as though I’m watching this woman who is dealing with this, and I don’t think it’s real. I do believe perhaps if there had been speed cameras down that road, I would be making my son’s favourite tea tonight.”

Coun Jonathan Taylor (Con) said: “When these crashes happen, we need to understand there are consequences that happen for their families when they need to pick up the pieces.

“We need to hear about how officers are going to respond to this, and we need to make solid recommendations to take forward.”

A Leeds City Council officer told the meeting: “It is absolutely right that we should have that ambition. It is looking at the whole system and whole process of what’s involved with road safety, and requires everybody to play their part.

“This is about persuading manufacturers to design cars right, to make sure housing estates are designed right, that residents in their behaviour go about their business in an appropriate manner and consider how they travel.”

The inquiry into road casualties will continue into the new year.

(LDRS | Richard Beecham)

 

 

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has become the first NHS Hospital Trust to officially become Carbon Literate, allowing it to take an important step towards its goal of becoming one of the greenest NHS Trusts in the UK.

Since April this year the Trust’s Sustainability Team has been working closely with the Carbon Literacy Project in a new initiative to deliver the first Carbon Literacy training specifically focussed on healthcare and the NHS, to help its staff become Carbon Literate.

Libby Sutherland, Environmental Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Here at the Trust it’s our Director of Estates and Facilities Craige Richardson and his senior team who have led the way, becoming the first Estates and Facilities team in any NHS Hospital Trust in the UK to have their entire senior management team become officially Carbon Literate.

“The feedback from Craige and his team was very positive, and they found the training really useful and very insightful. During the training our staff learn about the impacts of climate change in healthcare, breaking them down by sector and learning what the big emissions are in the NHS as well as what targets are in place to tackle them.

“But the training isn’t just theoretical, staff also learn about practical, everyday ways in which we can go about meeting those targets. As well as being really worthwhile the training is also very flexible, and each department in the Trust is free to decide who and how many members of staff need to be trained.”

Craige Richardson, Director of Estates and Facilities at LTHT, said: “Carbon Literacy means being aware of the impact of everyday activities on the climate, and knowing what steps can be taken to reduce emissions, individually, in our teams, or as an organisation.

“The actions of individuals can and do make a difference. Learners who have completed a days’ worth of approved Carbon Literacy learning can be certified as Carbon Literate and we believe this training, this deepening of awareness, is a valuable tool in helping us to become a greener organisation.

“In addition to giving leaners a grounding in the science behind climate change the training also demonstrates how it’s also a health emergency and how we as a Trust contribute to it, along with its implications for us as an organisation

“Since our first session a further 78 colleagues in Estates and Facilities have been trained and have officially become Carbon Literate and we’ve decided that in our department we’re aiming at having 30% of our staff trained, which will allow us to achieve silver accreditation.”

Louise Harling, Healthcare & Blue Light Coordinator at The Carbon Literacy Project, said: “The hard work and insight from the sustainability team at LTHT has enabled us to develop and disseminate a sharable NHS training toolkit. Without Trusts like Leeds, and their enthusiasm and determination in delivering Carbon Literacy training, we wouldn’t be able to roll out these materials in such a timely manner.

“LTHT really understands the importance of delivering Carbon Literacy training throughout its organisation to departments who have significant influence to drive the change we need to see a cultural shift within the NHS to meet its net-zero targets.

 

 

Sir William Henry Bragg, and his son Lawrence, changed the way we understand the world around us, all from a laboratory at the University of Leeds.

A new exhibition at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery explores the impact of Bragg’s work.

Coinciding with the development of the new Sir William Henry Bragg building, and as part of the Bragg Cultural Programme, the exhibition opened on the 26th October.

The exhibition, Shaping the course of modern science: William Henry Bragg and his legacy at the University of Leeds, will use outstanding material from the University's Special Collections to reveal the story of Bragg’s Nobel Prize winning work, and his continued legacy.

Sir W.H. Bragg joined the University of Leeds in 1909 as the Cavendish Professor of Physics. It was here in Leeds where he undertook his pioneering research on X-rays and crystals, with his son Lawrence. They became the first, and so far only, father and son duo to be awarded the joint Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915. The prize was awarded for their work at Leeds, which included the proposal of an equation which allowed the position of atoms within crystals to be determined from X-ray photographs. The equation is also known as Bragg’s law.

Guest Curator Dr Stella Butler said:

‘William Henry Bragg and his son Lawrence formed a fantastic scientific partnership. The father brought amazing experimental skill, the son theoretical genius. Together they provided the springboard for scientific discoveries that would eventually reveal the secrets of nature.’

Inspired by Bragg

Alongside highlighting Bragg’s work at Leeds, the exhibition will also delve into his legacy that still lives on today. William Astbury, Bragg’s student and protégé, joined the University of Leeds in 1929, pioneering the investigation of large biological molecules. His laboratory became one of the UK’s most important centres for crystallography. It was at this centre in Leeds where Astbury’s research student Florence Bell wrote the thesis which contained one of the first discoveries of the structure of DNA, the carrier of genetic information.

Thanks to Bragg 

Bragg’s legacy continued with the introduction of new computational methods in the 1950s by Ernest Gordon Cox and Durward Cruickshank, prompting the purchase of Leeds’ first computer, a Ferranti Pegasus. The 1980s saw further development with the production of the first computer generated 3D images of an antigen-antibody complex.

Bragg’s equation has been in continual use since it was first published and has helped leading scientists over the last ten decades to uncover the secrets of life. Bragg's work in understanding the make-up of crystals has led to the exploration of the foundations of human biology, which has informed life-changing developments of new treatments and vaccines, such as the COVID-19 vaccine, impacting the lives of everyone across the world.

Highlights on display

Show your Working

The original notebooks used by William Henry and Lawrence Bragg to record the results of their 1913 experiments will be on display. Theseunique books from the University's Special Collections contain the handwritten discoveries which led to the Bragg equation.

Special Equipment

On loan from the Royal Institution, Bragg’s original spectrometer will also be on display. This special piece of equipment was built in a University of Leeds workshop and helped the father and son team to work out the structure of many crystals including rock salt, sodium chloride, and diamond.

Bells and Whistles

Florence Bell’s original thesis will be exhibited. Under the tutelage of William Astbury, and using x-ray crystallography which had been developed by Bragg, Bell took some of the earliest photographs of the helical structure of the genetic material, DNA.

Amazing Antibodies

On display will be the first computer generated 3D images of an antigen-antibody complex. The computers used to generate these will have been programmed with the Bragg equation. Images have been provided by Professor Simon Phillips who was the first Director of the Leeds based Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, established in 1999, and was part of the team who produced these images.

Shaping the course of modern science: William Henry Bragg and his legacy at the University of Leeds, opens on Tuesday 26 October 2021 at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery and runs until 5 March 2022. An accompanying permanent exhibition will be located in the Sir William Henry Bragg Building.  Entry is free. For more details and opening times, visit library.leeds.ac.uk/galleries.


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