Transport

Win for London cyclists and LibDems as MEPs back safer lorries

The European Parliament has today approved new safety standards, pushed for by Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament and in City Hall, for the design of big lorries. These could help prevent many fatal accidents: 14 cyclists died on London’s roads in each of 2012 and in 2013, and 118 died in 2012 in the whole of the UK.

 

Victory for blind pedestrians as MEPs insist on sound generators on electric cars

MEPs have today voted to introduce mandatory acoustic vehicle alerting systems (AVAS) on new electric and hybrid cars in order to protect vulnerable road users. Currently these vehicles emit very little sound which is particularly dangerous for partially sighted and blind pedestrians who cannot see or hear them coming.
 

The move is part of a measure which will restrict the noise level of combustion-engine cars so as to reduce noise pollution. But the flip side is that electric cars which are virtually noiseless need to make enough sound to avoid danger to visually impaired pedestrians.

 

Boost for air passengers as MEPs vote to end “one-bag rule” and strengthen their rights

The European Parliament has voted to clamp down on excuses that airlines use to avoid paying compensation to delayed passengers.

MEPs in Strasbourg also voted to strengthen other air passenger rights, including clearer rules on compensation and carry-on luggage and the right to free food and accommodation after severe delays.

For short-haul flights, passengers will be entitled to £250 (300 euro) compensation after a three hour delay.

Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford commented:

 

“The changes will close some glaring loopholes, which airlines have exploited to deprive passengers of compensation for far too long.”

 

Local MEP and cycling campaigners call for end to lorry blind spots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L to R: Kate Cairns, Chris Boardman, Sarah Ludford MEP in front of the new Laing O’Rourke cab

 

London cyclists at risk if EU rules watered down

Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford has today with colleague Fiona Hall MEP written to the European Commission demanding the EU do more to protect London’s cyclists following 6 cyclist deaths in less than two weeks on London’s roads.
 

Letter to the Evening Standard on need for EU action to protect London's cyclists

With 6 cyclists killed in less than two weeks in London - making a shocking total of 14 so far this year - much more needs to be done to protect people who cycle on our capital’s roads.

A major responsibility rests with the Mayor of London, but the EU can also help. European legislation already requires all HGVs to have blind spot mirrors and for most of them to have sideguards which help protect cyclists from the lorry's wheels. However, the current exemption for construction vehicles from the sideguard requirement is unjustified and extremely dangerous in cities. I applaud the action by Crossrail insisting their contractors have sideguards, but Liberal Democrat MEPs continue to press for EU law to change on this point.

GetMoreBikes gearing up for more apprentices

Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford visited Islington social enterprise GetMoreBikes to see their apprentice bike mechanics in action. She said: 

 

“Liberal Democrats in government have helped create more than a million private sector jobs and now we’re working to create a million more.”

 

“Apprenticeships are key to this and I’m proud that we’ve helped businesses in London create 100,000 apprenticeships since 2010, including 2,000 in Islington alone.”

 

Boris Johnson airport case not persuasive

After a meeting in Brussels with the Mayor of London's aviation adviser Daniel Moylan who is also a Conservative Kensington councillor, at which he argued in favour of a huge new airport in the Thames Estuary - or at Stansted - which would involve the closure of Heathrow, Liberal Democrat MEP for London Sarah Ludford said:

 

“The Mayor and I can agree in opposing Heathrow expansion, although there are many Tories disgracefully supporting a Third Runway. Liberal Democrats are united in refusing to impose further noise and air pollution on the residents of West London.”
 

Scepticism on voluntary agreement for safer cars

Euro-MPs have expressed considerable scepticism whether a voluntary agreement on safer car fronts negotiated last year with the European car industry as a replacement for the expected legislation by the European Industry Commissioner Erkki Likanen offers any real guarantee in saving pedestrian lives. The European Parliament's lawyers have also advised that there is an absence of legal control in ensuring the commitments are delivered.

Baroness Sarah Ludford Liberal Democrat MEP for London argued in the EP transport committee and Environment committees (22nd & 23rd January) that it was difficult to discern any assurance that the stricter tests for protection of pedestrians from death or injury from impact with bonnets and bumpers would ever be implemented.

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