A new two-stage right turn junction to help keep cyclists safe is being introduced on one of the Capital’s major thoroughfares – the first such junction of its kind in Scotland.
Due to ‘go live’ at McDonald Road at the end of the month as part of an ongoing, comprehensive project of public realm and active travel improvements to Leith Walk in Edinburgh.
Also launching at the end of October are approximately 700m of segregated cycle lanes on the east and west sides of Leith Walk between Iona Street and Brunswick Street, offering a safe and continuous route separated from general traffic.
These lanes divert behind bus stops, leaving space for bus passengers and with clearly marked crossing points to allow passengers to cross to or from the stops.
The two-stage right turn feature, already successfully used in London and in other European cities, will enable those on bikes – especially less experienced cyclists – to turn right safely, without the need to wait in the centre of the junction.
For example, cyclists travelling north on Leith Walk who want to turn right into Brunswick Road will follow advance signals at the traffic lights to be guided left into McDonald Road, where they’ll be given further a advance signal to cross Leith Walk into Brunswick Road.
This layout, which is being launched alongside measures to help cyclists cross existing tram tracks safely at key locations, would allow cyclists to cross potential future tram tracks at 90 degrees, should the tram to Newhaven be approved.
The Council has worked with Sustrans to produce a short animation demonstrating how the two-stage right turn and bus stop by-passes work. This is aimed not just at cyclists who will be using the features but at all road users, including pedestrians and drivers, so that everyone understands what to expect.
Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “By introducing the very first two-stage right turn junction in Scotland, we are proud to be proving once again that Edinburgh is fully committed to making active travel as attractive and accessible as possible.
“This launch marks the culmination of a lot of hard work and close collaboration between the Leith Programme project team and local residents, businesses and organisations, particularly cycling groups.
“I would urge everyone to take a couple of minutes to watch the handy animated guide showing how to use the two-stage right turn and bus stop by-pass – since they’re entirely new features on our roads, it’s very important that people are clear on how they’ll be used, so they can look out for each other. ”
Sustrans Scotland Deputy Director for Built Environment, Daisy Narayanan, said: “We are looking forward to the opening of the two stage right turn on Leith Walk, which is the first of its kind in Scotland.
“This new facility is an excellent example of innovative and collaborative cycling infrastructure in Edinburgh and we have been working with City of Edinburgh Council and Spokes on the design, implementation and promotion of the turn.
“We believe the turn will improve junction safety and enable a better flow of people on bikes as they travel across the Capital.”
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