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“Hostile” bollards on pop-up bike lane caused Edinburgh cyclist to crash

Dean Loughton needed surgery on broken elbow after crashing earlier this week

The base of a bollard described as “hostile” by a cycling campaigner in Edinburgh led to a cyclist needing surgery for a broken elbow after he crashed on a pop-up cycle lane in the Scottish capital.

Dean Loughton, aged 32, had swerved to avoid a pothole before hitting the base of a bollard on the emergency bike lane on Pennywell Road in the north west of the city on Monday evening, reports Edinburgh News.

Motorist Imran Hussain, who had moved out to give space to Mr Loughton before he came off his bike, told the newspaper that the consequences could have been much worse had there been a larger vehicle behind the cyclist.

Mr Loughton, aged 32, said he failed to see the base of the bollard due to snow and poor visibility.

“They are meant to be there for the safety of the cyclist but these things are outrageously dangerous,” he said.

“If they were luminous yellow it would be better but they are black and it’s really hard to see them at night.”

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, transport convener at Edinburgh City Council, said: “Since introducing our Spaces for People programme in May we’ve planned or delivered 39km of segregated cycle lanes across the city, providing safe, protected routes for people making essential journeys.

“Our ambitious approach has been welcomed by many people taking up cycling from the first time, families and more seasoned cyclists alike.

“Of course, our sympathies are with Mr Loughton and we wish him a speedy recovery. The type of cycle lane defenders we’re using, which include reflective strips for night time visibility, are industry standard for these kinds of interventions, and allow us to make such changes on a temporary basis.

“However, we’re always looking for feedback on these measures, and we’d encourage Mr Loughton to get in touch.”

Professor Chris Oliver, a retired orthopaedic surgeon at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and who is a member of the Lothian cycling campaign group Spokes, said: “The bases of the bollards are hostile to bicycle wheels if you collide with them at the wrong angle.

“The bollard bases should have a smooth confluent base with the roads surface to reduce the risk of throwing a cyclist off and causing a crash.

“Elbow fractures can be a nasty fractures and may lead to chronic long term disability with time off work. They often lead to costly litigation.

“As a car driver as well as a cyclist these bollards are also not visible enough and I’ve almost driven into one of the bollards myself whilst on Comiston Road,” he added.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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