Cyclists claim £1.2 million in Edinburgh tram line compensation

196 successful claims made against Edinburgh City Council since 2012

Edinburgh tram
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Over £1.2 million has been paid out to cyclists who have fallen off their bikes on Edinburgh's tram line since 2012, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

A BBC investigation (opens in new tab) showed that 196 successful claims had been made in ten years, due to cyclists sustaining injuries or damage to their bike after incidents on the tram tracks.

The claims actually date back to before the trams were fully operational, by two years, due to the tracks being put down ahead of time.

The majority of the incidents occurred on Princes Street and around Haymarket in the Scottish capital. A total of £1,262,141 in damages has now been paid out by Edinburgh City Council.

Edinburgh City Council said it had made a series of safety improvements for cyclists crossing and riding near the tram lines in recent years, while safety campaigners said that the figures were not a surprise, and improvements have been too slow and too late.

In 2017 a cyclist, Zhi Min Soh, died after her wheel became stuck in tram tracks and she fell into the path of a minibus in Princes Street.

Professor Chris Oliver, of the Spokes Lothian Cycle Campaign, told the BBC: "I'm not unsurprised that trams system related cycling injuries continue.

"Spokes originally advised prior to the construction of the Edinburgh Tram line that the infrastructure should be protected and that cyclists should not be freely mixed with trams. An expert even came over to advise but the advice was not heeded.

"There have been some recent improvements but these have come slowly and too late. I'm sure there will be continual waves of litigation from injured cyclists."

Edinburgh's transport convener Scott Arthur said: "It is important to note that some of these claims pre-date the opening of the line and the many safety improvements made since then.

"Nonetheless, the number of claims submitted is concerning to me. I am committed to ensuring the safety of all road users, and I know that over the last five years the council has been working on a phased package of improvements to cycle safety along the tram route.

"The council is now in the process of completing phase three of the project, which includes significant changes to the road layouts at six junctions to give greater priority to people on bikes."

Red-surfaced cycle lanes have been put in at points along the tram route to indicate where best to cross them on two wheels in recent years.

If you have faced issues due to infrastructure while cycling, get in touch with the Cycling Weekly team - adam.becket@futurenet.com

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