Leader: ‘Why are we in a position of all-out war?’

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THERE is a tendency in Edinburgh to consider cyclists and motorists as two rival groups engaged in a fierce battle for control of the same spot of carriageway.

In fact, while that may be true in some extreme cases, many cyclists will be car drivers and many motorists will be cycling enthusiasts.

Whether they sit behind the wheel or in the saddle may simply depend on the day or, perhaps more likely, the weather.

Why then do we appear to be in a position of all-out warfare where cyclists feel forced to install helmet cams for their own protection?

The problem of course, like many things, lies with the minority – the people who navigate round the Capital on whatever mode of transport showing little or no respect to other road users.

It’s not difficult to drive with consideration for others and should not be beyond anyone who has passed a test to be aware of cyclists on the road and prepared to react accordingly. Those who do not should be punished.

Likewise, cyclists taking their bike out into rush-hour traffic have to realise the rules of the road apply equally to them to avoid becoming their own worst enemy.

Confrontation is not helpful to anyone and nor is the perpetuation of the two wheels good, four wheels bad mentality.

We want to see the number of cyclists on Edinburgh’s streets increase – indeed the city council has ambitious targets in that regard – but we also must ensure the growing number of bikes and cars can co-exist safely.

A little more thought, consideration and cool-heads all round is what is called for.

Then instead of shouting at each other, Edinburgh’s cyclists and motorists can instead direct their energy at battling a common foe – Edinburgh’s pothole-ridden streets.