Edinburgh's Spaces for People turning roads into a special kind of roulette with 'bike lanes' that aren't bike lanes – John McLellan
The inventiveness of Edinburgh Council’s transport department and the Spaces for People scheme is one of the marvels of the pandemic; never before have so many ways to banjax road users been found in the name of saving us all from ourselves.
Widened pavements masquerading as bike lanes, disabled parking in the middle of carriageways, planters forcing trucks onto pavements – it’s as if the whole city has become an extension of the Risk Factory in Chesser, except the everyday hazards aren’t manufactured.
To the list can be added bike lanes which aren’t bike lanes, with the familiar cycle road-mark painted on all-traffic lanes, except they look so much like designated cycle-ways that law-abiding drivers are reportedly moving across into adjacent lanes… and into the path of oncoming traffic.
To be found in Comiston and Inglis Green Road, to name but two locations, they are apparently to remind drivers that cyclists will be using the road too, as if anyone thought Edinburgh had bike-free streets.
Campaigners for a return of common sense have been told the legislation “does not stipulate that they should not be used in general traffic running lanes” and although the Association of British Drivers believes causing an unnecessary hazard could be illegal, the police say they cannot intervene and the Public Services Ombusdman says it can’t help.
Transport officials are aware of the confusion being caused, but far from addressing the issue, motorists are apparently just expected to get used to it. Edinburgh roulette, it’s the game all road users can play.