Calls for cyclists to be rerouted amid Pedal safety worries

Maggie Mitchell, Alistair McEwan and Tia Millar  at the hotspot
Maggie Mitchell, Alistair McEwan and Tia Millar at the hotspot
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SAFETY fears surrounding thousands of cyclists speeding through a narrow Edinburgh street as part of a major event have led to calls from residents for the route to be changed.

The Pedal for Scotland 2012 event on Sunday will see around 9000 cyclists complete a 47-mile route from Glasgow to Edinburgh, including sections of road in Cramond and at the Cramond Brig.

Cramond residents today said there had already been a number of serious accidents there in previous years and called for organisers to consider pulling the event from the area’s narrow roads completely.

Organiser Cycling Scotland said five additional marshals and an event liaison officer would be stationed in Brae Park Road, but residents said the ride had now outgrown the Cramond section of the route and that it was no longer “appropriate” to have so many cyclists passing through at high speed.

Tia Millar, 46, a mother-of-three, said: “When they were young, my own children could ride their bikes on these roads and be safe, but now the cyclists come through it so quickly.

“They should just pull it back to Queensferry Road and block off a lane.

“I am pleased the organisers are making more effort but, having lived here for 15 years and seen the increase in cyclists in general and the size of the event, I’m really not convinced this is an appropriate section of the road for them.”

Alistair McEwen, 72, said: “I think it’s extremely dangerous. There have been three accidents on the road. One guy, a cyclist, shattered his collarbone last year after colliding with a car and I think the other two victims were hospitalised.

“A child or an elderly person could get seriously injured.”

Mum-of-three Maggie Mitchell, 45, added: “If the council can assure us that they can send people down Brae Park Road, we would feel better about being able to get in and out of our houses.”

Andrew Pankhurst, of Cycling Scotland, said: “The Pedal for Scotland team received a complaint from a resident in the Cramond Brig area about the speed of cyclists.

“We have taken on board the concerns and implemented a comprehensive set of measures to mitigate any impact on residents. This includes extra marshals, a motorcycle mounted marshal and signage to tell cyclists to slow down, as well as an event liaison officer to monitor the stretch of route and form a point of contact for residents.”

A city council spokesman said: “We have worked closely with Cycling Scotland to ensure that both cyclists and spectators can enjoy this weekend’s events with minimum 
disruption.”