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Nearly 200 cyclists 'hurt in Edinburgh tram line crashes'

Five Edinburgh medics have warned tram crashes put pressure on A&E services.

By STV News

Published 30 Jan 2018.

Nearly 200 cyclists have been injured in crashes involving Edinburgh tram lines, a study has found.

At least 191 people were reportedly treated for injuries sustained in crashes between May 2009 and April 2016.

A report from five Edinburgh medics warns such injuries puts "significant burdens" on A&E services in the city.

Its authors, who include former trauma surgeon and cycling campaigner Professor Chris Oliver, said a large number of injured cyclists do not get back on their bikes.

The report says: "Tram system related cycling incidents result in a wide spectrum of injuries and place additional burdens on local acute healthcare providers.

"Collisions are rare and the vast majority of incidents are due to bicycle wheels getting caught in the tram tracks, with sliding of the wheels over the tracks being the second commonest mechanism of injury.

"Most injuries occurred during a work commute and a significant proportion of patients do not return to cycling."

A total of 142 cyclists were injured when the wheels became caught in tram tracks, the report says, while another 32 were hurt when they skidded on the lines.

Cyclist Zhi Min Soh died after her wheel became stuck in tracks on Princes Street in May 2017. The 23-year-old fell from her bike and was run over by a bus.

Her death prompted a review of cycle lane provision around Princes Street.

Edinburgh City Council said: "Pedestrian and cyclist safety are of utmost importance to the council.

"Like all UK and European cities with trams, we welcome all research that helps us improve cycle safety around tram tracks.

"We're currently implementing four phases of measures to help raise awareness of how cyclists and drivers can keep each other safe around tram tracks, including road markings to guide cyclists along the safest routes and a communications campaign encouraging safe driving.

"As always, we urge all road users to adhere to the rules of the road when in the vicinity of tram tracks."

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