Around half of the 105 cyclists currently suing Edinburgh council for incidents caused by tramlines fell at the Haymarket junction. However, one man who says he was nearly crushed by a bus after falling there has described changes to the junction as ‘terrible,’ while the solicitors representing the cyclists say that improvements have not gone far enough.
Back in May, Thompsons Solicitors said that action had to be taken to prevent what they saw as an "inevitable" cycling fatality on Edinburgh's tramlines. The firm is representing cyclists who have lost fingers and teeth and others who have had legs run over and say that they are still receiving calls at a “steady rate”.
One cyclist, David Steel, said his head was nearly crushed by a bus when he fell off his bike while crossing the tram tracks at the Haymarket junction last January. He has since advised the council on making changes, but described the outcome as “terrible”.
Speaking to the Edinburgh News, he said that all of the road markings had been removed, making the junction ‘unfathomable’. “It won’t be falling off their bike that will kill someone,” he said. “It will be the poor person in the vehicle behind who can’t stop in time. There’s no need for it.”
Stewart White, a senior lawyer with Thompsons Solicitors, said:
“Incidences of cyclists being injured by falls caused by the tram lines continue to happen, with injured people contacting the firm at a steady rate. So the problem is still there and Edinburgh City Council must do more to stop cyclists being hurt.
“While it’s to be welcomed that they did try and make some changes to Haymarket junction – where the majority of the accidents occur – the changes did not go far enough. The council must listen to the cycling community and make all the changes they are calling for.”
Spokes, the Lothian cycle campaign, has suggested a segregated cycle route which would cross the tramlines at 90 degrees.
A test case was due to be held at the Court of Session next month, but it is reported to have been deferred until the New Year. Thompsons expects individual payouts of £10,000 or more if claims are successful, meaning the council could potentially face a £1m bill.
Last month we reported how a Salford couple are to sue Greater Manchester’s Metrolink tram service after coming off their bikes while riding over tramlines. The solicitors representing them say they are already representing another five clients who came off their bikes at the same point with more having since come forward.