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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 joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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