Edinburgh grandad calls for safety railing at 'dangerous' city centre crossing after fall left him with limp

A grandfather still limping two months after he tripped at a busy crossing in Edinburgh city centre has branded it ‘dangerous’ and called on the council to install a safety railing.

By Jolene Campbell
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 4:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 9:42 pm

Angus Sutherland, 82, was left hurt and shaken after he tripped over a six-inch-high concrete kerb at the zigzag crossing on Princes Street near traffic lights at the bottom of the Mound.

The granddad of nine, who is still limping and suffering pains in his knee after the fall in April, sought help from his local MP and wrote to the council calling for railings to be installed to stop accidents happening to others.

In a response, the council claimed no safety concerns were raised by auditors about the crossing, which was designed and installed as part of the tram project in 2014.

Angus Sutherland said the staggered crossing is a hazard

The roads safety team said it was ‘not complacent' and stressed that the raised kerb acts as a ‘tapping rail’ for blind or partially sighted pedestrians.

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An official added that the council had installed a series of stainless steel discs on top of the kerbs to improve visibility, following a review.

But Mr Sutherland has branded it a ‘nonsense’ and warned that people often take short cuts straight across the main street instead of following the staggered layout.

He said: “When I tripped I fell and hurt my knees, chest and ripped my trousers. I was taking the shortcut across like many people do. It was horrible and I was badly hurt and shaken up after it.

“I think it is clearly a massive hazard, with these big concrete raised islands bang in the middle of the road.

“It’s especially dangerous for people who struggle with mobility or anyone with visual impairment. Most people do try to take a short cut to beat the traffic as that road is so busy. It can be a total nightmare.

“I’m still getting pains in my knee and was limping for a long time after it. But when the council finally wrote back to my MP they claimed there is no issue with safety. It’s a complete nonsense.

“As for a blind person being safe to use the upstanding as a guide, I find that very daunting indeed.

“Surely it is not beyond the council to make road crossings safe to use and this crossing is definitely a hazard. It sounds to me like it is all about a lack of budget to be able to do the required work.

They did put discs on top they said to help highlight the presence of the up stands. But that is just not good enough. If that had to be done after some sort of review then they must have recognised there are issues with the crossing.”

Labour MP for Edinburgh South, Ian Murray, said: “Angus continues to be in pain after his fall, and he understandably wants something done to prevent accidents like this happening again.

“On his behalf, I contacted the council to pass on his request for consideration to be given to railings around the tram islands.

“The council is facing huge financial pressures but I’m confident that any safety issues will be explored by officials.”

Edinburgh council has been contacted for comment.