‘One of them could have died’ - Edinburgh reacts after gang of youths push cyclists into Union Canal

Readers have been reacting after a group of youths attacked cyclists on three occasions by pushing them into the city’s Union Canal.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 2:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 2:48 pm

Between 5pm and 9.15pm on Wednesday, three men were cycling on the path near Murrayburn and Wester Hailes when they were confronted by a group of youths.

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Edinburgh police hunt youths who pushed cyclists into Union Canal

On each occasion, the cyclists were pushed into the canal and sustained minor injuries.

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A group of youths attacked cyclists by the city's Union Canal. Pic: Google Maps/ Serge Cornu - Shutterstock/ Police Scotland

Police are now appealing for witnesses following the attacks and say they are treating the incidents “very seriously.”

And Evening News readers have been reacting to the story today.

One reader, Katie Govan, wrote in response to various comments which argued cyclists have been an issue on the tow path. She said: “How can you blame a cyclist for this? Would the cyclist still be to blame if one of them drowned by being pushed into that water by these wee cretins that need a serious f*n boot up the a**e.

“Also don’t understand why people are commenting saying they don’t use the path because they can’t walk there dogs because of cyclist. Well can u not walk your dog on a lead like it should be then there shouldn’t be any problem?

“But to blame a cyclist for being pushed into the water when one of them could have died is a joke. This is why some of these kids nowadays have no respect for anyone, let’s hope it never happens to one of you. Just to clarify, I’m not a cyclist so I’m not sticking up for them for that reason.”

Vicki Boudali said: “Not funny!”

Kimberlee Gally said: “Should be charged for attempted murder!”

Carolyn Lowe wrote: “Hope they catch the thugs! Poor cyclist must have got a right shock x”

But some readers were far from sympathetic towards the cyclists.

Dougie Turner said: “Surprised it doesn’t happen more often. I’ve stopped walking along the canal thanks to the idiots treating the towpath as their own racetrack...”

Jamie Deskofveal Donoghue said: “I don’t want to paint the cyclists with all the same brush as there are some perfectly nice ones there, but I have encountered so many issues on that path.

“I have had many near misses with cyclists going too fast. Some swear at me for not moving out their way fast enough. And even on one occasion a woman tried to hit me with her bike as she deemed me to be on the wrong side (despite the fact I had stood off the path entirely so she could pass).”

Kristian Keddie said: “Some of the cyclists are quite rude and just ring their bell and expect you to jump out the way. Some of them....”

But Robert Brown responded: “Would you rather they don’t ring their bell and bump into you? That’s the whole point of it. It’s a warning.”

Caroline Currie suggested: “Should be a law that cyclists are not permitted to cycle at more than 10 miles per hour on a lane shared with pedestrians.”

However Brian Meighan said: “A lot of folk whinging they can’t walk along the canal due to cyclists. What the f**k is wrong with you?

“I walk along it every day without any problem...it’s very easy to do. Especially if you’re not an idiot that walks into stuff and actually pays attention to your surroundings.

“This weird offended attitude toward bikers is strange.”

Green councillor and Edinburgh canal champion, councillor Gavin Corbett, said: “As someone who cycles on the canal towpath every day I’m alarmed and disappointed to hear of these incidents. I’m glad there was no serious injury but only by luck.

“The canal towpath has generally become so much safer over the last 20 years partly because so many people use it. However, it’s a prompt to look further at towpath improvements such as visibility and lighting, so that it continues to be a popular route for walking, cycling and running.”

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