Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry says it is only ‘a matter of time’ before a new section of tramway in Chilwell results in the death of a cyclist. Soubry wants to speak to the tram's operators, the local police inspector and representatives of local councils about what she sees as an unsafe stretch of road for those on bikes.
A cyclist, who did not wish to be identified, was recently hit by a car after the wheel of his bike got stuck in tracks on the stretch of tramway between Central College on High Road and Devonshire Avenue.
Soubry told the Nottingham Post that urgent action was required. "The road becomes very narrow and there's little distance between the tram track and the raised pavement. It doesn't matter what the hazard is and it's nothing to do with the tram – it's about a road that's not safe. It's hurting my constituents and causing them serious injury."
Seemingly of a mind that the stretch of road is currently unfit for cycling, Soubry has called for clear signage telling cyclists to dismount. She also suggests that rubber inserts could be added along this part of the tram route.
Such a measure would be supported by Angela Barnett-Connolly, who fell off her bike as she crossed the tram tracks in Chilwell Road last year – an incident that resulted in her requiring 12 stitches after her glasses embedded in her head.
"If rubber inserts are put into the tracks there is no way a tyre could get caught in there. My accident wouldn't have happened if these would have been in the tracks – they have them in places like Denmark and campaigners are trying to get them in Edinburgh and Sheffield too.
"We're trying to encourage people not to use cars and to cycle wherever they can because it's a great form of transport, but we're putting their lives at risk."
Tram tracks have caused issues for cyclists in many cities around the UK. Last year, 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; in Edinburgh, a firm of lawyers is dealing with nearly 100 claims against the city council following tram track injuries; while in Manchester, a number of cyclists are suing Metrolink after coming off their bikes on tramlines.