Cyclist safety in Edinburgh less to do with 'bright lycra' and more drivers' responsibility

Campaign calls on road users to avoid becoming 'phonebies'

By Andy Shipley
Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 6:00 am
Cyclists are advised to wear bright clothes to stay safe

A NEW campaign aimed at drivers and cyclists has been launched to make the Capital’s roads safer.

The Streets Ahead body joined Edinburgh City Council officials calling on road uses to “look out for each other.”

But campaigners said the onus should be placed on drivers rather than encouraging cyclists to wear “bright lycra.”

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Cllr Claire Miller

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Green councillor Claire Miller said: “I’m glad that there is an opportunity for people with bikes to prepare for the winter weather and darker days.

“However, we should be putting the onus for safety of vulnerable road users on drivers – they must take responsibility for ensuring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

“It is perfectly reasonable for cyclists to be wearing normal workday clothes and still expect to be safe on the roads.

“If the city is really serious about safety for people on bikes, it is much less to do with bright lycra and much more to do with providing well connected, well-lit and dedicated routes for people to be able travel by bike around the city.”

The campaign was launched at Middle Meadow Walk yesterday urging all road users to take extra care and look properly when turning at road junctions.

Organisers said cyclists can help by wearing bright clothing or reflective accessories and making sure they use lights during the hours of darkness.

Drivers, meanwhile, can help by keeping an eye out for cyclists and allowing them plenty of room – at least as much room as they would for another vehicle, they added.

It was suggested that pedestrians can also benefit from wearing brightly coloured clothes or using high visibility items so they can be easily seen.

And all road users were advised to avoid the perils of becoming ‘phonebies’ by looking properly, without distractions such as mobile devices.

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “The clocks have just changed and the nights are drawing in – but that’s no reason not to continue walking and cycling.

“What’s important is that everyone – whether they’re a pedestrian, cyclist or driver – looks out for one another, helping everyone to stay safe on the city’s roads.

“Through our Be Bright, Be Seen campaign we’re raising awareness of the issues facing all road users, particularly during the dark winter months, by sharing tips and information, in collaboration with our Streets Ahead partners, encouraging pedestrians and cyclists to stay visible.

“It is of course particularly important that all drivers take extra precautions in winter months to look out for vulnerable road users.”