Recent Freedom of Information figures confirm that on average, since Princes Street re-opened following the final phase of the tram works, there are still two cyclists a month being injured with two of the most recent accidents being recorded as “serious”.
I am glad to report that the petition recently raised by cycling campaign group Spokes has now received the requisite number of signatures for consideration by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Petitions Committee. At last, we hope that the council will take note of the real danger that the tram lines present to cyclists on Princes Street and do something pro-active before the trams are instated in 2014.
It is hoped that the council will no longer, as they have done with every person who has been injured, the number of which runs into three figures, continue to blame them solely for their own injuries. The council can no longer continue to bury its head in the sand and must do something to accommodate cyclists before they allow a tram to run on Princes Street. If not, worryingly we could be dealing with fatalities and not just broken wrists or collar bones as have been occurring up until now.
I was also slightly irked recently by the BBC’s Newsnight, where in a report comparing cycling in Scotland to Amsterdam, the presenter quite astonishingly claimed that if people wanted active travel they should “just get on their bikes”. The presenter also presented a lame excuse as to why Edinburgh was different to Amsterdam insofar as it is hilly and windy. I’ll tell you why Edinburgh is different compared to Amsterdam, its cycling infrastructure is comparatively third world! No separate cycle lanes and very poorly maintained cycle lanes with cars parked on them.
I implore the City of Edinburgh Council to do something after its Petitions Committee has considered the petition. It’s time to remind the Council of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Right to Life not only affords us that privilege but the right to protect life is equally as important and the council should uphold that.