Cycling campaigners attack European Commission report

Eilidh Cairns was killed by a lorry in 2009. Credit: Cairns family

The family of a cyclist who was killed by a lorry in London have seen their campaign to improve cycling safety halted by the European Commission. Eilidh Cairns was knocked over in Notting Hill Gate in 2009 during rush hour. She was taken to the Royal London Hospital but died.

Her family have been calling for a new European law to force all heavy goods vehicles to eliminate blind spots by having cameras and sensors fitted. Many cyclists are involved in accidents after HGV drivers fail to see them.

Last year, Eilidh's family won the backing of the European Parliament for a Written Declaration on their scheme. However, the European Commission has now issued its response which has not impressed the campaigners. The Commission says the risks of HGV blind spots cause to cyclists "still needs to be better assessed." It has decided more accident investigation is needed before the law can be changed and HGV firms are made to spend money fitting the devices. But Eilidh's sister Kate accused the Commission of being complacent.

The Commission also says there other ways of preventing blind-spot accidents by improving road infrastructure and giving better training to HGV drivers. Sarah Ludford, who is a MEP for London, has accused the Commission of dragging its feet on the issue. She says the cost of an HGV sensor would be negligible.