Protest over cycle risks after student’s death on tram lines

Cyclists will gather tomorrow where Zhi Min Soh, inset, died last week after tram track accident. Picture:
 Neil Hanna
Cyclists will gather tomorrow where Zhi Min Soh, inset, died last week after tram track accident. Picture: Neil Hanna
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Hundreds are expected to gather tomorrow to mark the death of 23-year-old student Zhi Min Soh, who died while cycling in the city centre.

An airhorn will mark the start of minute’s silence, one week on from the tragic accident, and will also stand as a peaceful protest calling for the city to take action to ensure that a similar tragedy does not happen again.

A short protest, organised by a group of concerned cyclists, will begin at 8.30am at the junction of Princes Street and Lothian Road, where Ms Soh was hit by a bus after her wheel got trapped in the tram tracks.

Organisers say the event will “reflect the emotion that has bubbled up in the days since this senseless death”.

Henry Whaley, who has been cycling in the city for more than ten years and has helped with the event organisation, said: “Cyclists are having to deal with motorised traffic and tram tracks and sadly last week someone lost their life with that combination.

“This is absolutely not about disrupting the city, it is about paying our respects.

“The tragedy is still very raw to people particularly those who on a daily basis get up in the morning and say goodbye to their loved ones before cycling to work.

“Cycling shouldn’t be about being brave – it should be about being an efficient, healthy way to travel that doesn’t pollute or cause congestion.”

Those wishing to attend can meet outside West Register House from 8.15am and move to the pavement opposite Ryan’s Bar from 8.30am where a minute’s silence will be observed. A piper will play a lament in memory of Ms Soh, before the group disperses.

Cycle safety campaign group Pedal on Parliament support the bid to bring greater attention to implemeting a safe cycle strategy in the city.

They said: “We should not have had to wait for a young woman to die for there to be ministerial action, and a review. This should have been tackled right from the start when the trams were put in and the alarm was first raised.

Dave du Feu of cycling safety group Spokes said: “Spokes, along with every traveller, is distressed at the dreadful death of someone making the kind of journey we all make every day, only to be caught in a road crash tragedy. Our thoughts are with family and friends.

“We hope the event will help encourage speedy action to reduce the chances of similar future tragedies.”

HOW TO SUPPORT ZHI MIN SOH’S FAMILY

A fund has been set up to help raise money to help her family by contributing to the funeral costs of 23-year-old Zhi Min Soh.

Set up by Malaysian Medics International UK (MMI UK) the money will be used to help her family cover the cost of the funeral.

Ms Soh’s parents have been visited by Malaysian officials at their home in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, a town 12 miles from Kuala Lumpur and are expected to arrive in Edinburgh this week.

Following the completion of a post-mortem this week, the family will be able to fly her body home.

To donate to the fund, please visit www.youcaring.com/zhiminsoh-838781.