RESIDENTS in the Almond area of the city are warning “speeding cyclists” to slow down after a third accident in the space of a month.
Locals living on Cramond Brig Toll and Brae Park Road fear there could be a fatality if something isn’t done soon to prevent cyclists from “whizzing down” a steep hill on each of the roads on their way to and from work.
Alistair McEwen, who has lived on Cramond Brig Toll for 30 years, said: “For several years we have been trying in vain to get something done about this, but councillors and police have done nothing.
“There have been three serious accidents in the last month and we fear there could be a fatality.
“It’s getting increasingly worse because there are more and more people using their bikes.”
The retired management consultant, who has urged the council to install speed bumps or signs warning cyclists to slow down, added: “There are steep hills at each end of this stretch of roadway and the cyclists just freewheel down these without using their brakes or taking due care for elderly people or children.
“There are no pavements so people have to walk on the roads. There have been four nasty accidents in total, each one caused by the excessive speed of the cyclist concerned.
“Three of these required the attendance of the ambulance services. One man broke an arm and his collarbone, and is to be off work for a year. In another accident, the three paramedics in attendance were quite concerned about the cyclist, who hit a pothole at high speed on Brae Park Road. He was taken to hospital.”
The third accident to take place in the last month – and the fourth in total – happened on Brae Park Road yesterday morning. The male cyclist was taken to hospital with a suspected broken collar bone.
Mr McEwen, 72, said the problem had got worse over the last three years due to an increase in cyclists on the roads.
“It is a very busy area, it’s part of the cycle route and conservation area and is used by a large number of dog walkers, elderly people and children,” he said.
“I have spent a lot of time contacting the council but they haven’t done anything, and in the meantime ambulance resources are being used up and people carted off to hospital.”
Mr McEwen said a group of local residents was planning to hold a protest in a few weeks if the local authority did not make changes to the roads.
However, Ian Maxwell, a spokesman for Edinburgh-based Lothian Cycle Campaign, Spokes, said installing speed bumps on the roads could cause more harm than good.
“We would be happy to assist the council in working out what is possible through signage or other changes to the layout to make the road less of a risk,” he said.
“It could be more dangerous to put speed bumps on the roads than to not have them. Possibly a warning sign might be more useful because that’s alerting people to a problem rather than causing them an extra one.”
SNP councillor for Almond, Norman Work, said: “I would plead with cyclists to remember there are pedestrians about there as well and to be considerate.”
A spokeswoman for the city council added: “The council takes all road accidents very seriously and, where appropriate, we will carry out our own investigation into the circumstances of the incident. We encourage all residents to contact us with issues in their local neighbourhood.”