NEW red-surfaced cycle lanes are to be installed at a number of key points along the tram route in the Scottish capital.

Edinburgh trams chiefs were 'grating and guarded', inquiry hears

Edinburgh City Council said the measures, the first in an ongoing project to help all road users keep themselves and each other safe when negotiating the tram tracks, are aimed at demonstrating the optimum angle for crossing the tracks.

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It comes after the death of Malaysian student Zhi Min Soh, pictured aboove, an Edinburgh University medical student who was killed in a collision with a minibus after her wheel reportedly became caught in tram tracks.

The council said its work was ongoing when the fatal collision happened in May at the junction of Shandwick Place and Queensferry Street.

Edinburgh trams chiefs were 'grating and guarded', inquiry hears

The council also said consultations have been under way for some time between specialist consultants working on its behalf and cycling groups, to assess areas of potential conflict between cyclists and tramlines in the city centre and develop proposals for improvements.

A spokesperson said the red-screeded cycle lanes will offer those on bikes the safest route to cross the tram tracks to avoid slipping or getting their wheels stuck.


A report going before the council's transport and environment committee next Friday details the changes, which will be brought in over coming weeks, along with warning signs and a publicity and awareness campaign.

Edinburgh trams chiefs were 'grating and guarded', inquiry hears

The campaign will urge all road users to "look out for each other", stressing the need for drivers to give cyclists ample space when they're manoeuvring into the safest position for crossing tram tracks.

These initial measures, or Phase 1 in the project, involve new road markings at York Place into Elder Street, Shandwick Place into Queensferry Street, Princes Street on to Waverley Bridge, Princes Street into South St David Street, and Princes Street into Frederick Street.

There will also be red surfacing added to the existing cycle lane at Haymarket Yards.

Edinburgh trams chiefs were 'grating and guarded', inquiry hears

Lesley Macinnes, Edinburgh transport convener, said: "Road safety is one of the council's top priorities and we've been working very closely with cycling groups for many months on ways to help make it easier for cyclists to safely cross tram tracks in the city centre.

"We're emphasising that this is about all road users looking out for each other to keep themselves and each other safe.

"Drivers need to make sure they give cyclists plenty of time and extra space to get into the position they need to be in to cross the tram tracks safely and cyclists need to clearly signal - as early as possible - what they plan to do. By looking out for each other, we can ensure we all reach our destination safely."


Edinburgh trams chiefs were 'grating and guarded', inquiry hears

The second phase expected for completion by April 2018 will include improvements to Advanced Stop Lines for cyclists and traffic signals at six city centre locations.

Meanwhile, phase three, expected to be completed in autumn 2018, will include a short length of new segregated cycle lane on Princes Street.

Dave du Feu, of cyclists' group Spokes, said the campaigners "welcome the council's three-phase project to tackle tramline-related cyclist crashes and injuries".

“The council rightly recognises that many crashes occur because traffic pressures force the cyclist into the tramlines at a poor angle.

"We therefore particularly welcome the phase one 'give cyclists space' signs and publicity.


Edinburgh trams chiefs were 'grating and guarded', inquiry hears

“We urge the council to progress rapidly with the consultations and traffic orders required for phases two and three, which entail changes to traffic lights, and road layouts.

"We look forward to discussing these plans.

“Furthermore, Spokes welcomes the motion passed at the first meeting of the new council, promising that any tramline extension would 'prioritise pedestrian and cyclist safety and convenience, including consideration of segregated cycle lanes'."

Edinburgh trams chiefs were 'grating and guarded', inquiry hears

Katherine Soane, of Sustrans, said it also welcomed the "proposals around crossing tram tracks".

“This is an excellent first step in getting people on bikes to be more aware of the best angle to cross tram tracks, and we look forward to a more wide-reaching programme around safety where vulnerable road users interact with motorists.”