Edinburgh man hit by car and spat on at controversial Leith Walk junction with London Road
A Leith resident has been left shaken after an angry driver hit him in the leg and spat in his face at a busy junction.
Edward Tissiman, 28, was walking across the pedestrian crossing on London Road, at the junction with Leith Walk, at 9am on Wednesday when a car made an illegal left-hand turn. Despite the green man signal being on at the time, Mr Tissiman said the driver bumped into his leg and then spat on him before driving off.
Speaking to the Evening News, Mr Tissiman said: “When drivers make that left-hand-turn they usually stop if there is a pedestrian, they don’t drive towards them like this guy did so it’s quite unusual.” He added: “Getting spat in the face is quite a shock which is why I was so upset about it. When he drove at me he bumped into my leg and when he drove off he clipped my shoulder.”
Recording the incident on his mobile phone, Mr Tissiman captured the moment the driver flouted the traffic order implemented in November 2022 that bans left-hand-turns from Leith Walk on to London Road. As the driver attempts to drive through the crossing, another bystander can be heard telling the motorist ‘it’s not allowed.’ The driver can then be heard swearing and making abusive remarks towards Mr Tissiman before striking him with the vehicle.
The controversial traffic order came into effect on November 12 as part of the newly designed junction following ‘significant traffic monitoring’ that indicated the change would reduce congestion and prevent disruption to timetabling for buses and trams later in the year. The new layout means motorists must drive past the Playhouse, around the Picardy Place roundabout and back down to turn right onto London road – but many drivers are opting to make an illegal shortcut and drive through a green man to save time.
The council later installed CCTV at the junction in December after a large number of drivers were reported to be flouting the new layout. In January, the council revealed that approximately 50 drivers per day were caught breaking the rules of the road.
Mr Tissiman said the installation of CCTV has improved the situation and now only a ‘small minority’ of drivers continue to make the illegal left-hand-turn. He said: “I turn my phone camera on every time I walk to work just in case it happens. I didn’t expect it to happen because it doesn’t happen very often now so I was a bit shocked to see it happening and I wasn’t anticipating it. I’m not really sure what else the council can do other than making it a red light for all the other traffic when the pedestrian crossing is on. Now it is a small minority of drivers who are putting pedestrians at risk like this.”
Mr Tissiman said he has reported the incident to the police.