City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Tram Video: Haymarket Hooker Hobbles Cyclists


By edg - Posted on 18 October 2013

Cyclists in a busy part of Haymarket are being hobbled when trying to negotiate a curving bend in the tram track outside Haymarket railway station.

When Edinburgh's tram tracks were installed cyclists were instructed to cross the tracks at a 90 degree angle to prevent their wheels getting stuck in the track.

However, the curve in the track outside Haymarket Station makes it awkward to do this, due to the angle and the fact that there is a groove in the road to allow the tracks to sit flush with the road.

Add a little speed, rain, and busy traffic, and it's easy for even a confident cyclist to become a cropper as the above video, by Chris Hill of CityCyclingEdinburgh.info, shows.

Local cycle lobby group SPOKES, who have officially supported the tram project, have addressed the Haymarket hooker in a post.

There is a "safer alternative", the so-called "jug-handle" bike lane which begins at the entrance to Haymarket Station.

"This will give you a much better angle to cross the tramlines, though still not perfect. However it also brings a traffic-light delay," writes SPOKES.

"Another very serious problem is that taxis are sometimes queueing illegally on the double yellow lines outside Ryrie’s, and are overlapping the tramlines, thus forcing the cyclist to cross the tramlines at the last minute and at an appalling angle," SPOKES continues, adding that the issue has been the cause of a number of cycling accidents. "Our suggestion here has to be to stop behind the taxi and walk to the above bike lane."

Definitely not an ideal solution for the morning commute.

Another option being investigated is to fill in the gap with embedded rubber that may help cyclists cross the tracks safely.