New Cycle Lanes to make crossings tram tracks safer

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© SWD/Deadline News

New red-surfaced cycle lanes are to be installed at a number of key points along the tram route to make crossing the tracks safer.

The measures, the first in a three-phase project to help all road users keep themselves and each other safe when negotiating the tram tracks, are aimed at demonstrating the optimum angle for crossing the tracks and reminding motorists to give cyclists extra space, particularly where tramlines are concerned.

The red-screeded cycle lanes will offer those on bikes the safest route to cross the tram tracks to avoid slipping or getting their wheels stuck.

A report going before the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee on 5 October details the changes, which will be rolled out over the coming weeks, along with warning signs and a multi-channel publicity and awareness campaign.

The campaign will urge all road users to “look out for each other”, stressing the need for drivers to give cyclists ample space when they’re manoeuvring into the safest position for crossing tram tracks.

Tram Safety Banner

These initial measures, or Phase 1 in the project, involve new road markings at:

• York Place into Elder Street
• Shandwick Place into Queensferry Street
• Princes Street on to Waverley Bridge
• Princes Street into South St David Street
• Princes Street into Frederick Street

There will also be red surfacing added to the existing cycle lane at Haymarket Yards.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “Road safety is one of the Council’s top priorities and we’ve been working very closely with cycling groups for many months on ways to help make it easier for cyclists to safely cross tram tracks in the city centre.

“The measures we’ve been able to bring forward as Phase 1 will help demonstrate the safest angle to cross the tracks at five key points along the route, something which we know will be especially welcomed by less confident cyclists.

Tram Safety Banner

“We’re emphasising that this is about all road users looking out for each other to keep themselves and each other safe. Drivers need to make sure they give cyclists plenty of time and extra space to get into the position they need to be in to cross the tram tracks safely and cyclists need to clearly signal – as early as possible – what they plan to do. By looking out for each other, we can ensure we all reach our destination safely.”

Dave Du Feu, speaking on behalf of Spokes, said: “Spokes welcomes the Council’s 3-phase project to tackle tramline-related cyclist crashes and injuries.

“The Council rightly recognises that many crashes occur because traffic pressures force the cyclist into the tramlines at a poor angle.   We therefore particularly welcome the phase 1 “Give Cyclists Space” signs and publicity.

“We urge the Council to progress rapidly with the consultations and Traffic Orders required for phases 2 and 3, which entail changes to traffic lights, road layouts, etc.   We look forward to discussing these plans.

“Furthermore, Spokes welcomes the motion passed at the first meeting of the new Council, promising that any tramline extension would “prioritise pedestrian and cyclist safety and convenience, including consideration of segregated cycle lanes.”
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