The City of Edinburgh Council are to install a number of red surfaced cycle lanes at key points of Edinburgh’s tram network within the city centre in order to try and make it safer for cyclists when traversing the tram tracks. This is the first of a three-phase project to help all road users keep themselves and each other safe when negotiating the tram tracks.
The red-screeded cycle lanes will be added to offer those on bikes the safest route to cross the tram tracks to avoid slipping or getting their wheels stuck. They are to be placed at the optimum angle for crossing the tracks and will also remind motorists to give cyclists extra space. It is also planned that warning signs and a multi-channel publicity and awareness campaign will be rolled out.
The new road markings are due to be added at:
* York Place into Elder Street
* Shandwick Place to Queensferry Street
* Princes Street on to Waverley Bridge
* Princes Street into South St David Street
* Princes Street into Frederick Street
* Haymarket Yards (adding to the existing cycle lane)
Consultations have been going on for some time to assess all areas of potential conflict between tramlines and cyclists and this is the result of these discussions. These came about after numerous complaints from the cycling lobby following a number of incidents where cyclists fell off after coming into contact with the tramlines. The Council have also emphasised that they were already looking into this before the tragic death of Zhi Min Soh in May 2017 after she fell off her bike falling into the path of a minibus.
In addition to the new red cycle lanes advice has been released to cyclists in order for them to travel around the city centre safely:
* Cross the tracks at least at 45 degrees. If you can’t you should get off your bike to avoid slipping on the tracks or getting your wheels stuck.
* Avoid leaning when crossing the tram tracks
* Take care when cycling in the rain, the tracks will be slippery
* Think ahead and signal early. Plan how you will cross the tracks and let people using the road know what you’re doing.
* If there is a red cycle lane where you are turning use it
* Know your limits
It remains to be seen whether this new advice and the new cycle lanes will be used by cyclists who have been threatening legal action for some time.