Call for safety summit after fatal bike crash

Police investigators at the scene of the fatal accident
Police investigators at the scene of the fatal accident
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THERE were calls today for a cycle safety summit after the fourth fatality in the space of a year on Edinburgh’s roads.

The latest tragedy saw a man, believed to be in his 40s, killed after an accident involving a taxi on Corstorphine Road outside The Hampton Hotel.

The crash is close to the scene of the death of Andrew McNicoll who was killed on Lanark Road at the start of the year.

In April last year, Craig Newton, 32, from Musselburgh, died after being hit by a council bin lorry outside Broughton Primary School, and Audrey Fyfe, 75, died after a collision with a car in Portobello Road last August.

Lothian Green MSP Alison Johnstone said today the accidents should lead to a meeting of the authorities, cycle groups and road users to discuss a “radical” rethink.

She said: “Cycling is a generally safe activity, and the best way to improve safety is to get more people on their bikes to form a critical mass on the roads.

“However, it is clear that we need a radical rethink of how we design our streets to make them far safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“I am calling for a cycle safety summit for the Capital to be held to see what changes can be made to make Scotland a leader in cycle safety. We can and must do more to minimise the chances of another tragedy on our roads.”

Paramedics were called to yesterday’s accident at around 9.15am, where the man, who was believed to cycling to work, had suffered serious head injuries. The man, who is thought to have been travelling with a fellow cyclist, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr McNicoll, 43, was also cycling to work when he was killed in January. His stepmother, Lynne, has set up a campaign aimed at promoting cycling safety in the city.

She said: “It really is horrifying to hear of another death just two months after losing Andrew. My thoughts are with this poor man’s family.

“Of course, I don’t know the full circumstances of this incident but my instincts would be to say this only reinforces our campaign and the need for greater cycle safety in Edinburgh.”

Ian Maxwell, a spokesman for cycle campaign, Spokes, believes increased driver education is the way forward but said the city was a generally safe place to cycle.

He said: “Edinburgh is a good city for cyclists and it’s getting better but more can be done. We have been asking for more driver education especially for professional drivers, not because they are dangerous but because they are on the road more.

“We are also asking for more space and provision on main roads for cyclists.”

Yesterday’s accident happened near roadworks just yards from the entrance to Murrayfield Stadium.

Another commuter, who lives in Murrayfield Gardens, said: “I was just walking on to Corstorphine Road to get my bus when I saw the guy’s bike fly into the air. A second cyclist was sitting on a nearby wall looking very shocked.

“It’s left me very shaken up, it’s such a tragedy.”

A police spokesman appealed for witnesses: “This incident happened during a busy rush hour period and the area would have been busy with pedestrians.”

david.oleary@edinburghnews.com

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