Following a campaign by Fletchers Solicitors and their local MP Damien Moore, the UK government has agreed to remove vulnerable road users from its personal injury reforms, offering them greater access to the justice system.
Concerns about the impact of the proposed reforms for all vulnerable road users had previously been raised by the cycling organisation Cycling UK, through its Road Victims are Real Victims campaign. Earlier this year, the Justice Select Committee acknowledged those concerns, referring to Cycling UK’s evidence to the committee when recommending changes to the proposed reforms.
The change to the legislation came about following a meeting between Ed Fletcher, CEO of Fletchers Solicitors and Southport’s MP Damien Moore. Their discussion considered the impact that the proposed reforms would have on restricting vulnerable road users’ access to the justice system.
The head office of Fletchers Solicitors is based in Damien’s constituency of Southport, with the law firm employing over 400 people in the town. Ed is also a member of the Vulnerable Road User Action Group that has been campaigning for their removal from the whiplash reforms.
Before this decision, vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders would have struggled to find representation under the new law.
Rory Stewart, the Minister of State responsible for the new legislation, agreed to remove vulnerable road users after Damien lobbied for their exclusion. Damien thanked the minister for listening to his concerns and changing the bill.
“This decision is great news for vulnerable road users”, Damien said. “They will continue to be able to access vital, specialist legal advice for their complex cases. I thank the minster for listening to my concerns and agreeing to amend the legislation.”
Ed Fletcher, CEO of Fletchers Solicitors, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the changes to these reforms and are grateful to MP Damien Moore for taking this on board on our behalf.
“The unintended consequence of the legislation would have massively impacted on vulnerable road users and it would potentially have had an impact on hundreds of jobs within firms who specialise in helping these types of road user following a collision.
“This is great for Fletchers Solicitors and means we can continue to provide justice to people who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to access quality representation from our hugely experienced and technically brilliant lawyers.”
Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns and fellow member of the Vulnerable Road Users Action Group, said: “Increasing the small claims limit to £5000 would have prevented around 70% of vulnerable road users recovering their legal costs when claiming compensation for injuries caused by another person’s negligence.
“That’s why Cycling UK has been campaigning and lobbying to prevent this for nearly two years. Removing this group of people from the impact of these reforms is the right thing to do, and hopefully sends a message that road victims will be treated as real victims when injured on our roads.”
"We are absolutely delighted with the changes to these reforms and are grateful to MP Damien Moore for taking this on board on our behalf."
Ed Fletcher, CEO of Fletchers Solicitors
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