Cycle safety fight steps up a gear

THE sister of a north Northumberland cyclist who was killed when her bike was hit by a lorry will address delegates at this year’s Liberal Democrat Party Conference on her efforts to help prevent similar tragedies.

Kate Cairns, from Ellingham, will be highlighting the See Me Save Me campaign alongside MP Sir Alan Beith and Euro MP Fiona Hall, at the Baltic in Gateshead tomorrow, where the annual political gathering is taking place.

The group was set up following the death of her 30-year-old sister Eilidh in February 2009, who was crushed by a tipper truck while cycling to work in London.

North East transport firm Elddis will have a vehicle on site equipped with sensors and cameras to demonstrate the latest safety technology, which the Cairns family wants introduced for all HGVs.

On Saturday, Kate will again take to the stage at the conference fringe to discuss her efforts – backed by Sir Alan and Mrs Hall – to improve road safety.

The key problem lies in blind spots to the front and side of HGVs that make cyclists and pedestrians invisible to the driver.

Estimates suggest 2,000 cyclists die on roads in the EU each year, with HGVs involved in a high proportion of fatalities.