Cycling

The festival is over for another year and the city is slowly returning to normal. However, September is not only the end of the festival but it brought the launch of the cities Cycle Hire Scheme. Sponsored by Just Eat, 1,000 bicycles will be available throughout the city by the end of 2018. Residents and visitors can hire a bike and return it to any hire point. Payment of the small hire fee is made via the app. This is great news for cyclists and for the environment. City of Edinburgh Council has set a target that by 2020 15% of all journeys to work will be by bike. The council are putting more funds into this goal but is it enough?

Full fry up with all the trimmings, or quick cereal bar on the way out the door? Relaxing read at the newspaper whilst sipping a freshly brewed latte or a quick slurp of tea while kids ready for school? We all have different morning routines. One thing most of us have in common is at some point we have to make our way into work.

One of the more interesting local health and safety-related news recently was the news that the creation of a new cycling “superhighway” in Edinburgh was approved in principle last week. The plan at the moment is to create a 2.5 mile cycle superhighway across Edinburgh. Effectively, that would mean creating a segregated cycle lane for cyclists to ensure greater safety and protection from other road users. There is some ongoing debate about the appropriate route that the superhighway should cover and that requires to be resolved satisfactorily after further consultation with interested parties. Leaving the details of the plan aside for the time being given that there will need to be further consultation and discussion, this should be welcomed by all road safety campaigners and personal injury lawyers.

The proposed West Coates Cycle Track has caused polarised views across the city.

 The proposal: A new cycle lane providing a safe route into the city centre.

It has been well documented that if Scotland is going to reduce its rate of cycling accident personal injuries it needs to greatly increase its efforts to improve cycling infrastructure, a move which will require significant investment.

The good news for the various safety campaigners at the forefront of the fight for improvement – i.e road safety charities, cycling groups and personal injury lawyers – is that calls for greater investment have strong backing from the public.

The Near Miss Project has revealed that cyclists experience a near-miss cycling accident more than once a week.

The study, which looked at the experiences of 1,500 cyclists from around the UK found that the most hardened cyclists experience a "very scary incident" at least once a week, with the average rate of such incidents standing at sixty a year.

Thompsons Solicitors are already dealing with almost 100 claims regarding cycling accidents in Edinburgh, all of which are directly linked to the tram tracks, and our personal injury solicitors believe City of Edinburgh Council could be facing a compensation bill which is going to run to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Is it a good idea to saddle car drivers with presumption of liability when they are involved in cycling accidents?

It certainly would be a bold and controversial move, but it is one advocated by many groups, including road safety campaigners, personal injury lawyers and cycling safety campaigners such as Cycle Law Scotland.

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