George IV Bridge: Cyclist taken to hospital following collision with 'Spaces for People barrier' in Edinburgh

A cyclist has been taken to hospital after colliding with a barrier on Edinburgh’s George IV Bridge.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 6:33 pm

Sources confirmed a male cyclist crashed into a barrier – believed to be part of the Spaces for People programme – and fell off his bike at about 4pm on Tuesday.

He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by ambulance to be treated for his injuries – the extent of which remain unconfirmed.

A witness to the collision, who was driving on the bridge at the time, said: “I really hope the person recovers and is okay.

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Police at the scene on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh where the incident happened picture: supplied
Police at the scene on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh where the incident happened picture: supplied

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“I was travelling on George IV Bridge when it happened and saw a person lying on the floor in the cycle lane from a distance.

"It looked like a serious head injury.

"There was a good few paramedics at the scene.”

He added: “As a cyclist and a driver, I think the Spaces for People barriers at the bridge are so dangerous. It’s such a congested area.”

A spokeswoman from Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We received a call at 4.05pm to attend an incident on George IV Bridge after a push bike collided with a barrier.

"One ambulance attended the scene and a male patient was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.”

George IV Bridge is one of the few streets in Edinburgh to be resurfaced as part of the controversial Spaces for People scheme.

In April this year a capital taxi firm produced a video attacking the scheme on the bridge - describing it as ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

The video, produced by Atholl Place-based firm City Cabs, provides several examples of what it calls ‘risk assessment failures’ including one example which shows a taxi pulled into a ‘floating parking bay’ - a parking spot situated between a cycle lane and the main carriageway - on George IV Bridge, during which a disabled passenger alights from the cab.

As the taxi is parked, a Lothian Bus overtakes the taxi, and drives past a traffic island on the wrong side of the road, followed by a stream of following cars.

After the video was shown to Edinburgh City Council officers, a spokesperson for the council said the bus should have returned to the correct lane, and the council will highlight this with Lothian Buses.

In a second example in the video, the taxi and disabled occupant attempt the same procedure on George IV Bridge.

This time, a cyclist using the cycle lane between the floating parking bay and the pedestrian walkway passes the taxi driver at speed, which the video describes as a ‘very dangerous situation’.

In response, a council spokesperson said: “The cyclist passes around the taxi driver with around 0.5m between them.

“The cyclist should have stopped and allowed the taxi driver to complete the task.

“This is down to cycling behaviour rather than a design flaw.”

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