Edinburgh cyclists to sue over tram track falls

Dozens of cyclists in Edinburgh could be in line for a £10,000 payout by suing the council for negligence after sustaining injuries from slipping on tram tracks

Cyclists who ride in cities where trams are commonplace will know the danger of slipping on the tracks, but now dozens of riders in Edinburgh are set to sue the council after suffering injuries in such incidents.

The Edinburgh Evening News reports that between 50 and 60 cyclists will make a claim against the council for negligence, represented by Thompsons Solicitors.

According to the paper, lawyers argue that the design of the tram system and the warning signs in place amount to negligence on the council's part.

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Stewart White, an associate at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We’re hopeful that we will get a successful judgement. We’re confident of proceeding and that a successful judgement will pave the way for settling the remainder.

“The council have repudiated liability in every case. The position has been that the tram tracks are there to be seen, and that’s it. That’s simply not good enough.

“The bottom line is that they have removed cycling provision and they have replaced it with the tram system, which is essentially a railway through the city centre. What’s a cyclist supposed to do in that environment?

“Quite astonishingly, they have painted a bicycle between the tram tracks in the West End. That more or less guides cyclists between the tram tracks. They then can’t get to the acute angle they need to safely cross the line.”

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David Steel, who was nearly crushed by a bus when he fell off his bike, called the tram lines a "death trap".

“I got my front wheel across the first tram track and the next thing I know, I’m lying on my back looking up at a bus which is just over the top of my head,” he said. “If it hadn’t stopped, I was crushed," he told the Evening News.

The council could be in line to foot a bill of more than £500,000 if the claims are upheld in court, with lawyers predicting payouts of up to £10,000 per case.

Source: Edinburgh Evening News

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.