Injured Cyclists Sue Council Over Tram LinesMarch 20, 2015
Sixty cyclists are to sue the City of Edinburgh Council after sustaining injuries they claim were caused by the city’s tram lines.
They say the design of the tram lines mean their wheels can easily become jammed, causing falls and exposing cyclists to surrounding traffic.
Injuries have included broken collarbones, jaws and cheekbones and personal injury lawyers say the council acted negligently by failing to test the system for cyclists.
Paul Henderson, a personal injury lawyer at Macks Solicitors in Darlington and a keen cyclist, said: “Surely any local authority making changes to the infrastructure, such as roads or even tram routes through a busy town centre, must have regard to all road users, particularly cyclists, to ensure that foreseeable accidents are avoided.
“It is simply unworkable to have cyclists riding along the same route as tram lines as it seems obvious what will happen when a bike wheel comes across a track line. “A specific, clearly-marked cycle route either away from the tram lines completely, or where necessary crossing at 90 degree angles, should have been in place the day the council finished lying the tram tracks. “As more and more of us take to two wheels, we must as a society start factoring in the cyclist when building or changing our roads and carriageways.”
One of the injured cyclists, David Steele, said: “You need to be crossing the tram tracks at 90 degrees. Less than a 45 degree angle should be avoided but at Haymarket you are forced on to them at a 15 degree angle. It’s criminal.
“I never fall off but I couldn’t see my back wheel and it caught in the tram tracks and I was off my bike before I knew what was happening.
“All my new cycling clothes I had got for Christmas were ripped, I ripped my shoulder, hurt my hip and elbow. For six weeks I had a very painful haematoma in my groin, which meant I couldn’t sleep, ride my bike or wear underpants.”
The first cyclist’s case will be held in November. A successful outcome will depend on whether it can be proved that the council’s actions were negligent. The design of the tram lines and the affect of warning signs for cyclists will be analysed. If negligence can be proven, some cyclists are expected to receive up to £10,000 in compensation.
If you have also been the victim of a cycling injury and think you may be able to claim compensation for your injuries or other losses you can contact one of our personal injury lawyers in Middlesbrough, Darlington or Redcar on 01642 252 828.
Macks’ solicitors in Middlesbrough specialise in personal injury claims, and have a highly experienced cycling injury claims team who offer a pragmatic and caring approach.