Cycling superhighway 2

The European Parliament have voted to support Green Party measures which will improve the design of lorries to make them safer for cyclists.

The new legislation, on the dimensions of trucks in Europe, will force manufactures to improve windows and mirrors to heighten cyclists’ visibility – which in turn could save hundreds of lives in London and across Europe. In 2013 nine of 16 fatalities on London’s roads involved lorries.

MEPs also voted to improve the efficiency of trucks and lorries, and vitally, voted to hold back measures which could pave the way for 25-meter long ‘mega-trucks’ to hit European roads.

 Green Party MEP, Jean Lambert, said: “MEPs have voted today to introduce EU measures which will make cyclists more visible to lorry drivers. These improvements will reduce the number of accidents which sadly occur on our roads.

“In the UK alone, thousands of cyclists are seriously injured on our roads each year. I’m therefore delighted that measures which will improve visibility for lorry drivers have been supported. As a Green MEP, I believe we must do all we can to make our streets safer and cleaner, and this can begin by making roads safer for cyclists.

“I really welcome this vote today: We need to upgrade the cab design of lorries in order to keep vulnerable road users safe. We have seen too many deaths and serious injuries to cyclists on our roads and of the 16 fatalities in London last year, over half involved lorries. Changes such better visibility from the cab, and better wing mirrors will help responsible drivers avoid tragedy.”

The new regulations are expected to come into force in 2016.


BNP, Tories and UKIP unite to stop EU sex education bill

Conservative and UKIP members of the European Parliament have stopped progress on a bill which calls for universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout Europe.

Conservative Party MEPs, as well as other politicians from UKIP and other parties, voted to delay the passing of legislation that would ensure young people are entitled to decent sex education.

Green Party MEP Keith Taylorsaid:
“The Conservatives and UKIP are doing all they can to delay the passing of this important report.

If passed the report could have moved Europe towards guaranteeing that young people have access to age-relevent sex education that protects their health and well being. The report would also have pushed for LGBT people to have access to non-discriminatory information about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Unfortunately regressive forces voted to delay this excellent report today.”

The Report on sexual and reproductive rights calls for universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights throughout Europe. This includes safe and legal abortion services; comprehensive sexuality education; teaching about negative LGBTI stereotypes; or the prevention and treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases.

The non-binding report also contains several recommendations in favour of LGBTI people, including recommendations against the mandatory sterilisation of transgender persons; universal access to medically assisted procreation for single women and lesbian couples; or the right to access non-discriminatory information about sexual orientation and gender identity.

The report has been referred back to the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality where it was voted through at its last reading.

Commenting on the vote Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup and spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group, said:

“It was shameful. Right-wing bigots from the EFD, ECR and EPP groups argued against this report, and women’s right to a safe and healthy reproductive and sexual life.”

“They bullied the chamber into taking a vote which shouldn’t have taken place, and then booed the Rapporteur when she took the floor.”


1) Read the report as adopted by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
2) See who voted in favour of sending the report back to Committee (PDF)