Campaigner plays key role in report

Kate Cairns at the inquiry.
Kate Cairns at the inquiry.

A parliamentary report released on Tuesday states the next government must adequately address road safety and the justice system, referencing many points raised by a Northumberland campaigner.

During an inquiry, MPs and peers from the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group were told about concerns relating to how the roads are policed and how the justice system responds to cases of injury and death to cyclists and other road users.

As part of this, and following submission of written evidence, Kate Cairns, from Newton-by-the-Sea, was called to the House of Lords in February to give evidence in person to the committee.

She outlined ‘the shocking handling’ of the investigation into her sister’s death in 2009, and this has been included as a case study in the report.

Eilidh, 30, was run down from behind by a tipper lorry while cycling to work in London.

No charge was brought in relation to Eilidh’s death, despite the driver failing his eyesight test.

The driver returned to the road and 15 months later ran down and killed pedestrian Nora Gutmann.

Kate said: “It is sad that we are still talking about road death which is violent and futile. I am reassured that the committee valued my evidence and that I have been able to influence the report recommendations. If these are implemented lives will surely be saved.”

Many of the points Kate raised in her evidence have been referenced in the recommendations including: Road policing should be given a higher priority; the police must ensure a higher standard of investigation; and professional drivers should be retested more frequently.

To view the report online, visit quiries/justice