Family of cyclist Eilidh Cairns to relaunch safety campaign

A CAMPAIGN to improve cyclist safety sparked by the death of a Northumberland woman is being re-ignited to mark the third anniversary since she was killed.

Eilidh Cairns

A CAMPAIGN to improve cyclist safety sparked by the death of a Northumberland woman is being re-ignited to mark the third anniversary since she was killed.

The See me Save Me Campaign, launched by the family of Eilidh Cairns, is being relaunched at an event on Sunday, three years to the day since she died.

Eilidh, from Ellingham, near Alnwick, died after being knocked off her bike by a heavy goods vehicle on February 5, 2009.

The crash happened in London, where the 30-year-old former Alnwick Duchess’s High School student lived and worked for a television production company.

The HGV driver later told a court he had not seen Eilidh.

Her mother Heather, a former leader of Alnwick District Council and retired town teacher who still lives at Ellingham, and sister Kate, who lives at Newton by the Sea, launched the See Me Save Me Campaign, in the aftermath of her death.

It sought to have all HGVS fitted with cameras and sensors to remove their blind spots.

The campaign has been taken up at European level, in partnership with North East Euro MP Fiona Hall, with whom the family prepared a written declaration which won the support of more than half the total number of MEPs.

As a result, the European Commission has to come forward with proposals to change the law based on the declaration, although its response has been delayed twice.

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith has also taken up the campaign in the House of Commons, submitting a 10-minute rule which is awaiting its second reading.

Now, the fight is being given new impetus, with a relaunch event taking place in London on Sunday afternoon to coincide with the anniversary.

Family and friends of Eilidh, including Heather, will gather at the spot where she was killed at Notting Hill, which is marked by a ‘ghost bike’, for a minute’s silence and the laying of flowers and photos.

They will be joined by other bereaved families and campaigners to remember lives lost. The campaign’s website is also being relaunched on Sunday, having being overhauled by RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims which has other bereaved relatives within its ranks.

The site has been made revamped with funding from Awards from All and donations, both financial and in-kind, by bereaved families and members.

Kate, an independent sustainability adviser, said: “Since Eilidh was killed, we have tried to spare others this terrible fate.

“We have campaigned at Westminster and at Strasbourg.

“But the deaths go on with more families suffering on a level not possible to imagine unless you have been there.

“Today we say enough is enough and we mark three years’ absence of my sister by launching a website aimed at saving other families from having such anniversaries.”

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