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The Times ‘save our cyclists’ campaign putting important issue in the spotlight

February 8, 2012 10:04 AM

Sarah Ludford has welcomed the launch of a campaign by The Times to 'save our cyclists' while noting all the work that Liberal Democrats are already doing to make cycling less dangerous. She has been an active campaigner on road and especially cyclist safety since she was an Islington Councillor, and is supportive of the 'See me, Save me' campaign which was started by the mother of Eilidh Cairns who was tragically killed when she was knocked off her bike by a lorry on her way to work in London 2009.

At a European level Sarah has been active in pushing for lorries and trucks to have sensors, mirrors and cameras which could avoid injuries and save lives by eliminating blind spots and alerting drivers to cyclists alongside their vehicles. A 2007 EU Directive provides for all trucks above a certain weight registered between 2000 and 2006 to be retrofitted with a blind-spot system but it has not been well implemented or is not effective enough. Sarah therefore supported a 'Written Declaration' (see here) organised by LibDem MEP Fiona Hall (MEP for the Northeast where the Cairns family come from) calling for a review and if necessary tougher legislation on HGV blind-spots. The Declaration secured enough support from MEPs in March last year for the Commission to be bound to respond on how this can be achieved.

Sarah commented: "The Times campaign sets out various ways that the Government and local authorities can make the roads safer for cyclists. I'm glad to say that the Lib Dems are already ahead of the curve on several of these, with our work in Europe on eliminating lorry blindspots and in London LibDem GLA leader and transport spokeswoman Caroline Pidgeon getting TfL to review the capital's most dangerous junctions, see here. We will continue to campaign strongly on such a vital issue as making cycling safer. I'm also delighted that at Liberal Democrat Transport Minister Norman Baker is giving £15m to boost cycling, including £8m for transport charity Sustrans to enhance cycle routes and £7m to make it easier for cyclists to use the railways. LibDems will continue to campaign strongly on such a vital issue as making cycling safer."