Edinburgh City Council has come under fire for failing to do enough to protect cyclists from the dangers posed by the ongoing tram works in the city centre. Six cyclists were involved in accidents as a direct result of tram works in the first week alone and over 70 have subsequently fallen off their bikes since the project started in 2009.
A number of recommendations had been made but the council was slow to implement them and only after numerous accidents had already been reported. Campaigners are now claiming that these measures are too little too late and that Edinburgh is no longer a safe place for cyclists.
Sara Reed sustained a broken collar bone and head injury despite wearing a helmet after tumbling from her bike when her wheel became jammed in a tram track. She thinks that Princes Street simply isn’t safe if you’re on a bike and said: “While I appreciate there are signs warning people about the tram line, you could put 100 flashing lights on Princes Street warning of that danger but it doesn’t take it away.”
Thompsons Solicitors is acting for a number of people who have suffered injury or damage as a result of the tram lines in Edinburgh. Partner Patrick McGuire said: "The number of accidents in Edinburgh city centre is already worryingly high and that is before the trams are even introduced. Many of the accidents have been caused by cyclists feeling under pressure from heavy bus and taxi traffic. Once you add trams into the equation it will be a recipe for disaster and unless drastic action is taken I'm in no doubt the number of accidents will increase."
Thompsons is hosting a public meeting to launch a safety campaign calling for action to be taken to drastically improve safety before trams start running on the lines adding to the danger faced by cyclists.