‘A story that is a lesson for all road users’

TODAY we report on the tragic news of another cyclist killed on the streets of Edinburgh.

The accident is the fourth cycling fatality in the Capital in a year – and comes less than two months after the death of Andrew McNicoll on Lanark Road.

That these two accidents were so close in time and location will inevitably result in a renewed debate on the safety of travelling around the city on two wheels.

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Indeed, Andrew’s stepmother, the successful charity fundraiser Lynne, has already launched a campaign in his memory, which we fully support, aimed at promoting safer cycling.

But while education and road safety awareness is a must for both cyclists and other road users, we must also be careful not to over-react.

We do not yet know the exact circumstances and, until we do, suggesting whether anything could have prevented them is speculation.

Cycling group Spokes is, of course, right to press for more education but is also right to point out that Edinburgh is not an intrinsically unsafe city to ride around.

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As we have reported before, our city leaders have some ambitious targets when it comes to cycling, and want 15 per cent of all journeys to be by bike in the next ten years, compared with the current four per cent. There are also plans for improved cycle corridors to support safer routes across the Capital.

In a modern, environmentally-friendly capital city, and in an increasingly congested city centre, this is a worthy aim. And there is much sense in the argument that the more cyclists there are on the streets, the safer cycling will become.

The good work being done by organisations such as Spokes and the campaign in memory of Andrew will help in ensuring our roads are safer for both cyclists and motorists.

But that is not to say there is not much more to be done. Four deaths in a year is a statistic which reminds us of that fact.

Worth an Oscar?

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IT’S a story which has had more twists and turns than some blockbuster films. But are the end credits finally set to roll on the saga surrounding the old Odeon cinema in Clerk Street?

We today reveal a plan to retain the historic auditorium – albeit as nothing more than an empty space – and develop a bar and student flats around it.

This may finally enable some work to get under way and while the developers have often been cast as the bad guys, they at least deserve credit for persevering to find a solution.

Perhaps not the most satisfactory ending but one which we may have to settle for . . . at least until the inevitable sequel in the debate.