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George Fairley died following collision with Mercedes A Class on Sunday morning

Police Scotland are issued a fresh appeal for witnesses after a 78-year-old man was killed while cycling in Edinburgh on the morning of Sunday 16 February.

George Fairley died following a collision with a Mercedes A Class car as he rode his bike along the B800 road from Kirkliston, the suburb to the west of the city where he lived, to South Queensferry.

Other than the driver of the vehicle, who stopped at the scene and was interviewed by police, no witnesses to the fatal incident have been traced.

PC Douglas Philip of the road policing unit said: "We are renewing our appeal for witnesses to this accident to come forward.

"Mr Fairley was wearing a cycling helmet and high-viz tabard but otherwise was in everyday clothing. He was riding a silver mountain bike at the time.

"Anyone who can assist us with our inquiries is encouraged to contact Police Scotland on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

7 comments

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OldRidgeback [2657 posts] 2 years ago
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That's a nice and quiet stretch of road. Given that the rider was wearing high viz, it begs the question of what the driver was thinking of at the time and how much concentration he/she was paying to driving. I'd be curious how fast the car was travelling as I know people do drive at speed along there. I've cycled it many times in the past.

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userfriendly [584 posts] 2 years ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

That's a nice and quiet stretch of road. Given that the rider was wearing high viz, it begs the question of what the driver was thinking of at the time and how much concentration he/she was paying to driving. I'd be curious how fast the car was travelling as I know people do drive at speed along there. I've cycled it many times in the past.

That small stretch between South Queensferry and down the hill after the overpass is part of my commute every morning. I turn left into the road leading to Standingstane Road, but have cycled the B800 coming from Kirkliston a few times in the past too.

It does have a reasonably good cycle path next to the road - but there are some stretches without, especially at that last overpass before South Queensferry. Which is also where the road is narrower. And as you say correctly, people do drive fast up and down there. Most of the B800 is perfectly fine, even on the road, but that part there is the bit I don't like.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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"Mr Fairley was wearing a cycling helmet and high-viz tabard but otherwise was in everyday clothing. He was riding a silver mountain bike at the time." - Irrelevant.

"Other than the driver of the vehicle, who stopped at the scene and was interviewed by police, no witnesses to the fatal incident have been traced."

Why does the article not mention that he was arrested? and if not, why not?

As for the witnesses, there must have been plenty, are they trying hard enough?

R.I.P - I'm getting fuckin sick of typing this, can a auto reply option be set up?

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userfriendly [584 posts] 2 years ago
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northstar wrote:

As for the witnesses, there must have been plenty

On a Sunday morning, not necessarily. It's not an overly busy road even during the week.

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kcr [134 posts] 2 years ago
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I also commute on this road Monday to Friday.
It's a reasonably wide, fairly straight road, with a couple of dips along its length, and can have a fairly steady stream of traffic during commuting hours. A reasonable number of vehicles will gun it between Kirkliston and South Queensferry, clearly breaking the speed limit, so it is not a road that I feel particularly comfortable on.

There is a wide, well surfaced pavement on the west side, which is designated as a dual use cycle path/pavement. However, this starts after the Kirkliston boundary, and finishes before South Queensferry, forcing cyclists back onto the main road just before the A90 overpass. Travelling south, cyclists either have to stop somewhere on the east pavement and then walk across to join the cycle path (no designated crossing) or execute a right turn across the oncoming traffic as vehicles are accelerating to top speed out of South Queensferry behind them. The manoeuvre has to be repeated at Kirkliston to rejoin the south bound lane of the road.
So unfortunately, a typically flawed piece of cycling infrastructure, and as a result, a lot of cyclists simply ride down the B800 itself.

I'm very sorry to hear of this unfortunate death.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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userfriendly wrote:
northstar wrote:

As for the witnesses, there must have been plenty

On a Sunday morning, not necessarily. It's not an overly busy road even during the week.

Still would have been witnesses, i expect if more effort is put in, i notice how all my other points were ignored, quelle surprise.

Another "motorist" to get away with it.

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kcr [134 posts] 2 years ago
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Still would have been witnesses, i expect if more effort is put in, i notice how all my other points were ignored, quelle surprise.
Another "motorist" to get away with it.

Unfortunately, it is quite possible that there were no witnesses on this road, on a Sunday morning. It's not a busy route outside of commuting time. However, the police are doing their job and trying to establish what happened. There is no suggestion that anyone is "getting away" with anything here.

Regardless of the outcome, I hope this very sad incident can act as a spur to address the dangerous features of the route, through enforcement and infrastructure improvements. I won't hold my breath, however.