Decision delights parents

Eilidh Cairns.
Eilidh Cairns.

Bereaved parents of loved ones killed while cycling have expressed their delight after a bid to make lorries safer was approved by the European Parliament – but pleaded with the British Government to

follow suit.

Josh Jarvis

Josh Jarvis

On Tuesday, a large majority of MEPs voted in favour of a new HGV design aimed at reducing the number of cyclists killed in collisions with these types of larger vehicles.

If national governments back the changes, lorries will have to have bigger windows and rounder fronts – rather than the standard ‘brick’ design used for drivers’ cabs now – which will help to tackle drivers’ blindspots.

However, the UK Government has called for more research and London Mayor Boris Johnson says he is worried that it may oppose the changes.

This news has disappointed two north-Northumberland families whose lives were turned upside down after loved ones were killed in collisions with HGVs.

Eilidh Cairns, from Ellingham, was 30 when she died after being knocked off her bike by a lorry in London in February 2009.

Her family, including her mother Heather Cairns, set up the See Me Save Me campaign to eliminate lorry blindspots.

Earlier this year, the parents of Longhoughton’s Josh Jarvis, 21, who was killed in a collision with a cement mixer in Manchester in February, backed the campaign.

Reacting to Tuesday’s decision, Heather said: “We are extremely pleased with the decision taken by the European Parliament, but I am amazed, distressed and concerned about the fact that the Secretary of State for Transport appears not to accept the ruling and says more work needs to be done. See Me, Save Me will continue to campaign for cycle safety.”

Josh’s father, Simon, said: “Anything that improves road safety in this respect has to be a good thing, but perhaps they haven’t gone far enough. The British Government needs to take this seriously.”