In full: Early cycle signal lights to be installed at the following locations

New traffic signals which give cyclists a head-start ahead of other traffic are being proposed under the latest plans for safety improvements along Edinburgh's tram route.
New traffic signals which give cyclists a head-start ahead of other traffic are being proposed under the latest plans for safety improvements along Edinburgh's tram route.
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Cyclists would get a head start at traffic light junctions along the tram route in Edinburgh under new plans to improve road safety after the death of cyclist last year.

The new traffic lights that go green for riders before other traffic would be installed at 14 sites, if approved after consultation.

They are already in use at the Leith Walk/McDonald Road junction.

The move comes after student Zhi Min Soh died after her bike’s wheels became jammed in tracks in May and she was hit by a minibus.

Red anti-skid lanes at five junctions in Edinburgh city centre were part of £230,000 of safety improvements triggered by the death of Malaysian Ms Soh, whose accident happened at the junction of Shandwick Place and Queensferry Street.

Speaking after the incident, David Du Feu of cycling campaign group Spokes, said changes such as advanced traffic lights for cyclists could help address safety problems associated with the tram tracks at the West End junction.

Advanced stop lines for cyclists at traffic lights at five junctions are also due to be completed by the end of the month.

The plans are part of a public consultation launched on the council’s website yesterday.

If approved, most are expected to be implemented towards the end of the year.

The proposals also include two options for the Haymarket junction at Grosvenor Street, changes to the alignment of the cycle lane at Haymarket Station, and a new mandatory cycle lane where Princes Street meets South St Andrew Street.

The council is also proposing a new traffic island at Haymarket Yards, a new cycle crossing over the tram route at Cultins Road in Edinburgh Park, and improvements to the traffic island and advanced stop line box at the junction of Princes Street and South Charlotte Street.

City council transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “With the first phase of cycle safety improvements already in place – and, according to our feedback, well-received by cyclists – and the second phase just weeks away from being implemented, we’re now looking to the public for feedback on our proposed designs for phase three, which we aim to put in place later this year.

“Road safety is absolutely paramount and we’ve been working extremely closely with our partners to refine these designs.

“Early release signals for cyclists have been credited with reducing collisions in cities where they’re already used, so these are a particularly desirable option.”

The council said a fourth and final phase would involve changes to the road layout at the Princes Street/Lothian Road/Shandwick Place/Queensferry Street/Hope Street junction to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

The Council’s transport team has been working closely with Spokes and walking and cycling group Sustrans, in consultation with charity Living Streets, to develop a programme of road changes aimed at improving safety for cyclists along the tram route, in particular between Haymarket Yards and York Place.

A Sustrans spokeswoman said: “Cycling safety is utmost importance to Sustrans Scotland and we welcome any initiative which helps to ensure that people feel safe when travelling by bike around Edinburgh.

“Early release signals have been used very successfully across the Continent and have helped to reduce the number of collisions.

“The signals will help improve safety and enable a better flow of people on bikes as they travel across the Capital.”

Uproar at the lack of cycle safety on the city’s busiest roads followed Ms Soh’s death.

Campaigners rallied for immediate action to make the Capital’s tramlines safer after another cyclist was hospitalised when she collided with a bus after the wheels of her bicycle became stuck in the rails on Shandwick Place last July.

At the time, Ian Maxwell, of Spokes said: “The council have taken steps to improve road conditions for cyclists, particularly in areas with an increased risk through road markings at Haymarket, but we feel that there is more that could be done in the short term.

“Longer term we’ve put proposals forward to the council for a segregated cycle lane along North Princes Street and in future we’d like to see the centre of Edinburgh become less of a hive for traffic.

“The city has thousands of cyclists but it could 
and should be a lot safer to cycle in.”

The council proposals include plans to install early cycle signal lights at the following locations:

York Place/North St Andrew Street

North St Andrew Street/St Andrew Square

South St Andrew Street/St Andrew Square

Princes Street/Waverley Bridge

Princes Street/South St David Street

Princes Street/The Mound

Princes Street/Frederick Street

Princes Street/South Charlotte Street

Princes Street/Lothian Road

Shandwick Place/Princes Street

Atholl Place/Manor Place

West Maitland Street/Palmerston Place

Haymarket Junction from Morrison Street to West Maitland Street; Morrison Street to Haymarket Terrace; Morrison Street to Dalry Road; Dalry Road and Grosvenor Street

Haymarket Yards