Safety call after second cyclist death

THE death of a second cyclist in two months has led to calls for an urgent summit to improve safety on Edinburgh’s roads

A man was killed when his bike was in collision with a taxi during the morning rush hour yesterday.

The cyclist, who has not been named but is believed to have been in his forties, suffered serious head injuries and died at the scene, following the incident in Corstorphine Road at about 9:15am.

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His death comes weeks after Andrew McNicoll died following a collision with a parked car while cycling to work along Lanark Road on 5 January.

Edinburgh City Council has now confirmed it will join forces with the police to launch a cycling safety and awareness campaign next month, but there have also been calls for a “radical rethink” of the city’s streets to prevent future accidents.

Ian McNicoll, Andrew’s father, said the latest death underlined the need to improve safety for cyclists in Edinburgh.

He said: “It’s a really, really sad situation that we’ve got another tragedy on our hands so soon after Andrew’s. This brings it all back, although it’s never far away. We think about the people who will be affected by this and we’re really saddened.”

Mr McNicoll, who helped to launch a charitable trust in honour of his son to improve cycle safety in Edinburgh, said he had met the city’s head of transport to discuss ways forward.

Last night, police said the man had been pronounced dead at the scene.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “This incident happened during a busy rush hour and the area would have been busy with pedestrians.”

He said: “We are appealing to anyone who may witnessed the collision to contact police immediately.”

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George Aird, chairman of City Cabs, said the taxi driver involved in the collision was unhurt, but had been left badly shaken.

He said: “We’ve not really got any details [of the accident]. It was a female driver and she was really upset and shocked. I just want to give my condolences to the cyclist’s family. Other than that, I don’t know much more about what happened.”

Lothian’s Green MSP Alison Johnstone said: “There have now been 16 cyclist deaths and many others injured since 2000 in Lothian region.

“It is clear that we need a radical rethink of how we design our streets to make them far safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“I am calling for a cycle safety summit for the capital to be held as soon as possible to see what changes can be made to make Scotland a leader in cycle safety.

“We can and must do more to minimise the chances of another tragedy on our roads.”

Gordon Mackenzie, Edinburgh’s transport leader, said the council would run a cycling safety and awareness campaign with the police next month.

He said: “We’ve also agreed a £700,000 increase in cycling budgets for the year ahead – a substantial part of which will be used to make our roads safer for cyclists and promote cycling.”