THE controversy over a disabled parking bay “in the middle of the road” has taken a fresh twist.
Bollards have now been installed between the bay and the cycle lane running next to it - but critics say it means anyone parking there has to get out into the path of 40mph traffic.
The Evening News highlighted the bay, sited several feet from the pavement on Pentland Terrace, part of the busy A702, on Friday.
The latest move comes after the couple for whom the bay was installed said at the weekend said its position meant they were not able to use it.
Bob Cunningham, 73, said his wife Pat, also 73, who has Parkinson’s disease, could not get into the car in their driveway. “We need to be able to park at the side of the road. But now I open my door to oncoming cars, buses and lorries, while Pat on her side has cyclists. She has limited ability to walk and is very slow, so we can’t use the bay at all.”
A neighbour said the bollards - or cylinders as the council describes them - made the situation “beyond dangerous”.
He said: “The council has approved the bollards to be bolted onto the road directly next to the disabled parking bay making it physically impossible for any disabled person to get out the car on the left side and subsequently forcing them out into oncoming traffic.
“It’s painfully obvious no safety audit was undertaken. This road is still 40mph and the council is essentially giving its stamp of approval for a severe accident to happen.”
And Bruce Waikt, 83, who lives close to the bay on Pentland Terrace, said: “The whole thing is an absolute nonsense.”
Mr Waikt has COPD and has to wear an oxygen cylinder when he goes out, while his wife Ruth, 82, has bad arthritis.
“I would like to have a parking bay, but if it’s sitting in the middle of the road you have the chance of getting clouted by a bike if you get out one side or hit by a car on the other.”
Another resident, Paul Bailey, said the council had been trying to defend the indefensible.
“They intend to do as safety audit after it is up and running not before. Councillor Scott Arthur requested one - request denied. They also intend to liaise with residents after they have installed the plan, not before.”
Transport and environment convener Lesley Macinnes said: “The segregated cycleways help create a safer environment for cyclists and allow more people to switch to active travel as a way of moving around the city.
“We thank the public for highlighting the issues surrounding the installation of the new segregated cycle lane on Comiston Road. In order to protect the cycleway we have installed cylinders, however we have also attempted to maintain parking as much as possible.
“While this project has been implemented, we are still addressing issues as they are brought to us and will take steps to amend them as appropriate. We will also be speaking with residents in the coming days to better understand their concerns.”