Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Trams claim first victim

The BBC reports that the tram track on Princes Street has upended a cyclist (one of six) and, as a result, TIE is to offer a cycling proficiency test. If I may quote:

"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."
Firstly, how did Edinburgh manage to attract the only cyclists in the country who don't know that tram tracks are absolutely lethal for bikes? Don't they remember Kirkpatrick McMillan's famous exhortation - "Trams? Trams laddie? Gonnae no dae that, just gonnae no?"

As for TIE proposing to organise one cyclist training session - less of the PR fluff, just get some warning signs up wherever the tram traps are going to be, it doesn't have to be complicated, just something like "Here be tram tracks - no eco-friendly means of transport welcome!"

You'll see the rapid degradation of the road surface alongside the tram tracks - I assume that's just because it's a temporary surface laid to get the road open for December but I, of course, wouldn't be at all surprised if the tram tracks destroy road surfaces wherever they are laid.

Before apportioning blame, though, let's look at the guy who fell off his bike - he's riding one of those 'feet in front of you' low-slung things that keep you below most of the sight lines of drivers in cars (never mind larger vehicles) his road discipline, as shown on his website, is incredibly poor, and he has been knocked off his bike by a bee before... Still, at least he appears to have a proper front light, not one of those flashing things.

I prefer Danny MacAskill's style

Mind how you slide!

8 comments:

subrosa said...

Ooops Calum, plug back in.

Calum Cashley said...

Och, I was trying to post by sheer force of will instead of using a computer - only half worked!

Anonymous said...

Serves him right all cyclists should be banned, bloody fascists the lot of them, had one stuck in the grill of the Bentley yesterday, right old mess he made.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post from someone who clearly has no understanding of cycling (nor of any form of physical exercise, judging by the photo at the top).
Should we be expecting such populist, Daily Mail type rantings from someone aspiring to represent us at Westminster? I would say not.
Remember that the Lib Dem-SNP council have signed up to massive commitments to support and increase cycling in Edinburgh, but transport policy (unless it is about cars) is not one of the SNP's strong points.

balancedview said...

I think the real issue here is one of the "solution" offered by TIE. Are these "proficiency tests" to be an ongoing thing - perhaps at testing stations at either end of Princes Street in order to accommodate the ever increasing number of utility and commuter cyclists?

Surely the real solution would be to separate cyclists from the tram traffic by providing dedicated cycle lanes. Like they have done in the Netherlands. Or by isolating the trams from the other taffic like they have done in the, erm, Netherlands.

Calum Cashley said...

Erm, doesn't seem like it, looks like a one-off for PR purposes. Nice wee piece in the paper edition of the Evening News today (can't find it online) - another cyclist came a cropper on the tram tracks and fessed up to being the guy who'd just spent two hours telling other people how to avoid doing just that ...

You're right about getting the light rail off-road (perhaps using the miles of unused track-bed around Edinburgh).

Calum Cashley said...

Erm, doesn't seem like it, looks like a one-off for PR purposes. Nice wee piece in the paper edition of the Evening News today (can't find it online) - another cyclist came a cropper on the tram tracks and fessed up to being the guy who'd just spent two hours telling other people how to avoid doing just that ...

You're right about getting the light rail off-road (perhaps using the miles of unused track-bed around Edinburgh).

1st Lady said...

17 seconds into the video the cyclist appears to stop at a red light, thus allowing a pedestrian to cross in safety. I had to rewind to watch that moment again, nearly brought a tear to my eye.