Frustrated traders have called for cyclists caught riding on city-centre pavements to be punished with on-the-spot fines.
A petition has been lodged with Edinburgh City Council demanding that cycling on the pavement by anyone older than 12 years old be banned, with parking wardens given the powers to hand out penalties.
Four businesses have so far signed up in support of the move, with tram work zones cited as the most important spots for enforcement.
Under existing laws, police officers can issue warnings to misbehaving cyclists, but do not typically give out fines.
Haymarket trader Alison Adamson-Ross is behind the push, having submitted the online petition after becoming fed up with cyclists’ behaviour.
The retailer, who runs kilt hire store Hugh Macpherson in Grosvenor Street, said abusive cyclists were speeding past the front of her business and proving a menace to both customers and tourists.
Ms Adamson-Ross said: “Pedestrians, especially in the areas where pavements are fenced in by metal barriers where the tram works are, increasingly have to be extra aware of a speeding menace behind them. This is so dangerous and extremely lazy of the cyclists.
“I feel I need to apologise to my customers when they arrive, but it’s not me that should be apologising. Edinburgh has become a massive roadworks area, yet the pavements should be clear, especially when there is no other traffic to worry about.”
Ms Adamson-Ross said cyclists were using the pavements along Haymarket Terrace as a shortcut, with fines needed to promote the right behaviour, especially around the area’s train station.
Signs reading “Cyclist Dismount” have been erected at four locations including Haymarket by the council, but Ms Adamson-Ross said they were not working.
The unrest comes with tram construction works dragging on in the area. Hundreds of metres of concrete laid from Shandwick Place to Haymarket had to be ripped up and relaid due to a contractor blunder. The council said it will not prevent works being completed at both locations by autumn.
Ian Maxwell, chairman for cycling campaign group Spokes, said travelling through Haymarket was akin to “being in a bombed city during the Second World War”.
He said: “The way in which pedestrians have been squeezed by barriers is appalling. Why it’s taking so long to build the thing [tram line] is another matter.
“The conditions on the streets are so poor for everybody – motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. We would express solidarity with pedestrians on this, but the way to deal with it is to sort out the road conditions, not blame the cyclists.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We make every effort to ensure that they [signs] are well placed and visible, but we appreciate that not everyone always adheres to the signage.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Officers continue to monitor the behaviour of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and whenever inappropriate practices are observed, corrective advice is provided.”
Law on bikes
ANYONE cycling on a footpath in Scotland is committing an offence under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984. But it is not an offence to cycle across a footpath to access a cycle track. And as the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 allows cycling on any path where access is not restricted, this allows cycling on most paths in parks and rural areas.