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Cyclists sue Metrolink after coming off their bikes on tramlines

Law firm says cycle route signage is insufficient and poorly thought-out

A Salford couple are to sue Greater Manchester’s Metrolink tram service after they came off their bikes while riding over tramlines. The solicitors representing Mike and Jane Leader say they are already representing another five clients who came off their bikes at the same point with a further eight people having come forward in the last fortnight.

The Manchester Evening News reports that Birchall Blackburn Law is calling for a safety review and more signs and road markings near the Cemetery Road Metrolink stop in Droylsden.

Mike Leader said:

“Instead of tram tracks coming down the middle of the road, they veer off into a siding and veer back out again.

“They cut at a sharp angle when they come back out and you can’t cycle over them. They come up on you very suddenly. I was bang, straight down, and then my wife did exactly the same thing. We both ended up on the road in a lot of pain.”

Mike tore a ligament in his shoulder while Jane broke her arm in two places.

A Transport for Greater (TfGM) spokesman said a cycle route is provided at the Cemetery Road stop so cyclists don’t need to cross the rails, but Jamie Patton, the solicitor representing the Leaders, said directions were unclear.

“Signage for cyclists around some tram stops is completely insufficient and poorly thought out. I’m a cyclist myself and the crossings are perilous. The routes that are meant to divert cyclists around the tram tracks are unclear and instead cyclists are missing key directions, getting their wheels stuck in the tramlines and coming off their bikes.”

The spokesman said TfGM regularly reviewed the measures in place and enhanced them where appropriate to ensure people could cycle safely alongside the tram network. “As a result, thousands of cyclists use the main roads alongside Metrolink safely every day.”

The Metrolink is currently undergoing a £1.5 billion investment project to triple in size and TfGM figures found that the number of cyclists involved in accidents with a tram had tripled between 2013 and 2014.

Tram tracks have caused issues for cyclists in many cities around the UK. In July, the Cycle Sheffield campaign group claimed that they presented the biggest danger to local cyclists with more than 120 incidents recorded in a six month period.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, a firm of lawyers is dealing with nearly 100 claims against the city council following tram track injuries. Thompsons Solicitors said that action must be taken to prevent what they see as an "inevitable" cycling fatality.

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