Page last updated at 22:26 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Edinburgh tram lines throw cyclists off track

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Cyclists will be given practical instruction on how to avoid accidents

Cyclists are to be given classes on how to navigate Edinburgh's roads after tram tracks were unveiled in the city centre.

The move follows reports of six accidents on Princes Street since the road was reopened with new tram lines just over a week ago.

Cyclist David McCraw posted footage on YouTube of his crash, which he recorded on a camera attached to his handlebars.

Tram developers Tie said the training sessions are on Sunday from 1100 GMT.

Qualified bike specialists from The Bike Station will be on hand until 1400 on Sunday to teach cyclists how to navigate Princes Street.

Chris Hill, who runs the cycling forum CitycyclingEdinburgh.info, said someone was going to be seriously injured if proper signs and road markings were not added to the busy thoroughfare.

'Practical training'

He told the BBC Scotland news website: "The lines start in the middle of the street at the east end of Princes Street, they just come out of nowhere for cyclists.

"There are no signs or road markings to alert cyclist to the tram tracks and if one of the six people I have been told about, who have come off their bikes on the tram lines, had a bus behind them then they would have been squashed.

"It is simple stuff, we are talking about a bit of paint and some signs. At the moment the street is very dangerous to cyclists.

"Cyclists who are not confident are also going to avoid Princes Street, which is not what we want when Edinburgh City Council has signed up for 15% of journeys to be by bike by 2020."

Mr McCraw, who fell off his bike on Princes Street last week, said: "The tracks are right on a cyclist's natural line and they just came out of nowhere.

"Luckily I wasn't badly hurt but if there had been a bus behind, I might not be here today."

A Tie spokesman said: "We know from feedback from our consultation with other cities which have installed trams in recent years, that practical training sessions for cyclists may be helpful.

"With this in mind, Edinburgh Trams is funding a training session for cyclists which will take place next weekend.

"The training is being organised and carried out by independent specialist instructors, and is aimed at training and advising cyclists on how to ride safely in the vicinity of tram lines."



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SEE ALSO
City street reopens for Christmas
30 Nov 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Buses to return to Princes Street
25 Sep 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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