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Edinburgh tram extension must be bike friendly

It currently stands that over 100 cyclists are pursuing compensation claims against Edinburgh City Council after sustaining injuries on the city’s tram lines. Campaigners have warned the capital’s council that the planned extension of the lines, to Leith and Newhaven, must take a number of design improvements into account if injury and accidents are to be minimised.

Prior to the construction of the current tram network, Dutch consultants recommended a number of design features that would minimise injury. It was recommended that safety would be maximised if cyclists never had to cross tracks at anything less than a 90-degree angle. It was also suggested that cyclists were given segregated cycling lanes where they would travel in the opposite direction to trams. However, these recommendations were not taken on board and are now held to be responsible for the high number of accident claims.

“dysfunctional and dangerous”

The solicitor acting on behalf of the 110 injured cyclists, who have claimed for broken bones, facial injuries and fractures, said that by ignoring these safety recommendations, the council has created a “system that for cyclists is totally dysfunctional and dangerous as well”.

Since the lines were first laid in 2009, a total of 260 cycling accidents have been recorded. This figure can be held in comparison to the 16 accidents in Sheffield over an 11-year period following the launch of the ‘Supertram’ in 1994.

Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “Cycle safety is of utmost importance to the Council and to this end we have gone to every effort to raise awareness of the impact of the tram on all road users, carrying out extensive awareness-raising activity both online and on-street.”

If you have been involved in a cycling or road accident, and are looking to claim compensation, please contact us.

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