Comment: Trick is to spot problems and sort them

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The return of trams to the streets of Edinburgh after 57 years is going to take some getting used to.

Pedestrians will have to appreciate that they can quietly creep up on you if you don’t have your wits about you, while motorists must learn to treat level crossings where trams and cars cross paths with care.

Cyclists will need to think carefully about the routes they take, how to cross the tracks safely and the parts of the line that pose particular risks.

None of this will happen overnight. There is an education process which we will all have to go through to make sure we stay safe.

In the meantime, something has to be done about the bike accidents which are taking place on a daily basis at Haymarket and at certain other hot spots.

As the video we shot yesterday at Haymarket graphically shows, it is only luck that has stopped any of the slips so far causing serious injury. Cyclists have narrowly avoided falling under the wheels of passing cars after coming a cropper on the rails and being thrown from their bikes.

It is no exaggeration to say that if we carry on as we are it can only be a matter of time before someone is badly injured – or even killed. The answer may be changing the road lay-out, Dutch-style rubber plugs between the tracks and surrounding road or more warning signs, or quite possibly some a combination of all three.

We have spent an awful lot of money on the trams and this newspaper is anxious to see them succeed for the good of the city.

There will inevitably be teething problems in a project this size, the trick is to spot them and sort them as quickly as possible.

The city council must urgently investigate the problems at Haymarket and listen to cyclists’ concerns about other problem spots.

Action is needed before, God forbid, we find ourselves facing a tragedy.