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Edinburgh Cyclists Raise Tramline Safety Concerns

Over 50 Cyclists Have Joined Together To Call For Safety Improvements In Edinburgh


A group of Edinburgh cyclists have begun legal action over the safety of the city’s tramlines following a high number of accidents caused by slipping on the metal tracks, it was revealed last week.

The claimants are putting the blame firmly on the design of the tracks, citing a lack of similar accidents in other cities with prominent tram systems such as Sheffield and Manchester.

Accidents have largely been caused by slippery tracks in wet weather, and wheels getting caught in the tramlines. Cyclists are advised to avoid accidents by crossing the tracks at an angle of between 45 and 90 degrees, but many argue that this is impossible to do safely on a busy road.

Duncan Wallace, 43, required a metal plate in his wrist following a fall caused by the tracks. “It was a wet day and my bike wheels slipped into the tram track. When that happens, you have no choice, your bike just collapses,” he said.

“As I fell, my wrist was jammed into the raised central reservation in the middle of Princes Street and was smashed really badly.”

A third of the cyclists making claims sustained fractures in falls, with many experiencing near-misses with buses. They have accused the city transport authorities of negligence over the design of the tracks and warning signs.

Proposed solutions to the huge number of accidents include rubber covers for the tracks, removing all traffic from certain areas, and introducing traffic light-controlled turns where a large proportion of the accidents have taken place. 

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh’s transport convener, could not comment on the cases, but said: “The council advises that anyone cycling near to and around the tram tracks should take care while they get used to them, especially in wet weather as the tracks will be slippery.”

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