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Edinburgh tram line cycling accidents cost taxpayer £1.26m in 10 years

Posted on in Cycles News, Outdoor News

More than £1.2 million has been paid out to cyclists who have fallen off their bike on Edinburgh's tram lines over the last decade.

Edinburgh

A freedom of information request (FOI) showed that 196 claims have been successfully made by cyclists who have sustained injuries or damage to their bike after slipping on tracks or getting wheels stuck.

Since 2012, £1,262,141 has been paid out by the council, which stressed that work is ongoing along the network to enhance safety for cyclists. Overall there have been 422 accidents involving cyclists on tram lines in the city.

Edinburgh City Centre councillor Claire Miller, Greens, said the figures are "just the tip of the iceberg as many people don’t contact the council when they are injured".

She said: "It’s outrageous that the council knows the tram line is dangerous for people on bikes, but it is paying out injury claims instead of making it safe. "Unless the council truly prioritises road safety, and invests in making safe spaces for cycling, hundreds more people will be hurt.”

Professor Chris Oliver from Spokes Lothian Cycle Campaign added: “I’m not unsurprised that trams system related cycling injuries continue.

"Spokes - The Lothian Cycling Campaign originally advised prior to the construction of the Edinburgh Tram line that the infrastructure should be protected and that cyclists should not be freely mixed with trams. An expert even came over to advise but the advice was not heeded.

"There have been some recent improvements, but these have come slowly and too late. I’m sure there will be continual waves of litigation from injured cyclists, some of whom will be permanently injured and have reduced capacity to work."

Edinburgh's transport convener Scott Arthur said: “It is important to note that some of these claims pre-date the opening of the line and the many safety improvements made since then.

"Nonetheless, the number of claims submitted is concerning to me. I am committed to ensuring the safety of all road users, and I know that over the last five years the Council has been working on a phased package of improvements to cycle safety along the tram route."

Safety changes made in recent years include new red-surfaced cycle lanes at key points along the tram route 'to direct cyclists on the safest route to cross the tram tracks to avoid getting their wheels stuck'.

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