Edinburgh Spaces for People: How many cyclists must be injured before city council sees sense? – John McLellan
It’s been convenient for the city council’s SNP-Labour administration to dismiss concerns about its Spaces for People programme as the product of political agitation by their opponents, but they and their allies in the militant cycling lobby will find the views of Cycle Law Scotland more difficult to ignore.
A cynic might expect a law firm specialising in cycling accident claims to keep schtum about something adding to its client base, but it too has spoken out.
“Whilst good intentioned, it seems the measures implemented under Spaces for People have been poorly thought out, badly implemented and have perhaps endangered, rather than benefited, the burgeoning cycling community,” wrote associate solicitor Roz Boynton in The Scotsman this week.
She cited several examples of clients with broken bones as a result of collisions with the black plastic lane dividers, and to their number can be added the cyclist who suffered a head injury after an accident on George IV Bridge on Tuesday.
The administration is so dug in on this issue that accommodating sensible suggestions from people who support cycle safety as part of a balanced approach has become infinitely more difficult, even as the vaccine programme makes the justification for a dogmatic insistence on sticking to a plan conceived a year ago impossible to sustain.
Properly planned and installed cycleways bring undoubted benefits – the new layout at Piershill being an example ─ but the question posed by Ms Boynton’s evidence is how many cycling injuries will it take to make the administration see sense?
John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston