THE sister of a woman killed after being knocked off her bike by a lorry is lobbying the Prime Minister to prevent further loss of life.
Eilidh Cairns, 30, who was born in Alnwick and brought up at nearby Ellingham, died after the February collision in London, where she was living while working in film production.
Her sister Kate, 37, who lives at Newton by the Sea, near Alnwick, has since been campaigning to reduce the risk of cyclists being hit by large goods vehicles.
She has met mayor of London Boris Johnson and other politicians, attended conferences and has recently formed an action group which has around 70 members.
Kate and a friend of Eilidh, keen cyclist Joanne Clegg, have now created a petition on the Prime Minister’s website, calling for the introduction of new measures to reduce to zero the number of cyclist fatalities caused by large goods vehicles. It is seeking driver training and vehicle improvements and a permit system to prevent vulnerable cyclists having to share city roads with large goods vehicles with limited visibility in rush hour.
To date, 1,600 people have signed up. But Kate said nothing has happened since her sister’s death to prevent more cyclists being killed by lorries.
“The solutions presented so far would not have helped Eilidh, she was in the right place, she could not have done anything else,” she said.
“That is the inescapable fact. I shared a flat with Eilidh, I used to cycle everywhere. I feel it very personally myself.
“I encouraged her to cycle in London because it is free.
“I just feel like I have to do something because if someone had done this two or three years ago Eilidh would still be here.
“We are going to try and get them to sit up and listen.”
A Ghost Bike was recently unveiled at the site where Eilidh was killed, at a ceremony attended by Kate and her mother Heather, who still lives at Ellingham and is a former leader of Alnwick District Council and an ex-teacher at that town’s Duchess’s High School. The white bike shapes are normally placed at places where cyclists have been killed on a temporary basis, to serve as memorials and safety reminders.
However, Mr Johnson is allowing Eilidh’s to remain permanently.