Trams causing problems in Edinburgh

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by John Burns, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. John Burns

    John Burns Guest

    John Burns, Dec 8, 2009
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  2. John Burns

    Ace Guest

    Educate cyclists to be more careful. But more importantly, efforts
    should be made to place cycle lanes in different parts of the road
    from the trams.

    European cities have long recognised this problem, although from time
    to time you'll still get the odd muppet who takes a short cut rather
    than go 15m out of their way and catches their narrow-tyred Mercian
    rear wheel in the tracks nearly leading to a nasty spill.

    Thankfully I had my trusty spoke spanner with me, otherwise it'd have
    been a 15 mile walk home :-}
    Ace, Dec 8, 2009
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  3. John Burns

    David Hansen Guest

    On Tue, 08 Dec 2009 17:45:38 +0000 someone who may be John Burns
    Lots of people thought about it.

    However, the council ignored cyclists until after the major
    decisions had been made and were not going to be reversed. Only then
    did they get some (very good) cycling consultants in, when it was
    too late.

    I imagine that has chapter and verse.
    David Hansen, Dec 8, 2009
  4. Cyclists learn, designers bear cyclists in mind. Neither of those
    happened in Edinburgh by the looks of it :)

    Important hint: where cycle tracks cross tramlines at an angle, be
    very careful in the rain. The tramlines get incredibly slippery.
    Just zis Guy, you know?, Dec 8, 2009
  5. John Burns

    Tosspot Guest

    I live in an area with an extensive tram network. My basic policy is don't ride
    down them. They are quite obvious, being long parallel strips of iron with a
    gap between them, sometimes the presence of a 10 tonne tram can help identify
    them. If, however, you have to cross them, my policy is to ride down the left
    side until the end, follow the loop in a rightside direction, and, after a while
    you will get back to the same point on the other side.

    Is Chris Hill blind, stupid, or both?
    Tosspot, Dec 8, 2009
  6. John Burns

    rob Guest

    Educating cyclists will help, but I'd like the motorists educated as well,
    so they're not surprised when cyclists take a strange line to try and cross
    them at 90 degrees.

    I can cope with cattle grids which are worse in some ways, but you don't
    usually have to worry about your line in traffic when dealing with them.
    rob, Dec 8, 2009
  7. John Burns

    Ian Guest

    Please visit our appeal at

    Chris Hill, who runs the cycling forum, said
    someone was going to be seriously injured if proper signs and road
    markings were not added to the busy thoroughfare.

    Sorry.... but my opinion goes something on the lines:

    (Most of) the cyclists live in Edinburgh
    They all are aware that tram lines were to be laid
    The few that were not, can SEE them

    Any fule no that you cross such a hazard at an appropriate angle

    They are in the middle of the road, where cyclists are unlikely to
    (normally) be....

    What's the problem??
    Ian, Dec 8, 2009
  8. John Burns

    John Burns Guest

    Important hint: where cycle tracks cross tramlines at an angle, be
    Strikes me that the bigger problem is when they're wet and it's dark so
    they're also very hard to see.

    Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :)
    Email: , John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
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    John Burns, Dec 8, 2009
  9. John Burns

    Rob Morley Guest

    Except when it's dark and wet and they are hidden by vehicles in
    front of you.
    Rob Morley, Dec 8, 2009
  10. John Burns

    David Hansen Guest

    On Tue, 08 Dec 2009 20:29:34 +0000 someone who may be Tosspot
    He is neither.
    David Hansen, Dec 8, 2009
  11. John Burns

    David Hansen Guest

    David Hansen, Dec 8, 2009
  12. John Burns

    Clive George Guest

    In stop-start traffic cyclists are rather more likely to be towards the
    middle of the road - and that was the case in the video.
    Clive George, Dec 8, 2009
  13. You might want to think about the tourist industry.

    Edinburgh has some similar relevant conditions to Cambridge; and for
    many of the same reasons I suspect it will have significant numbers of
    non-local cyclists (like we do).

    Patrick Gosling, Dec 9, 2009
  14. John Burns

    Tosspot Guest

    Eh. Every single working day I cross a tram track, most days a junction of 3 or
    4. They don't move!

    For months now I've been dealing with them on 23mm tires. 28's will barely fit
    down them, 32 and upwards you can ignore them completely. I mean you can get
    down them, but even on my tyres around 20 degrees aoa will go over them fine. I
    know this because I thought the narrow tyres might be a problem and carried out
    an exercise of using shallower and shallower angles until I bottled it. That's
    moving the bike about 2ft off of it's original line, I could probably get less
    if I practiced it.

    No, I'm sorry, I just can't see the problem. Yes you can fall down them in the
    same way you can run into a kerb, but a little thought and neither is a problem.
    Tosspot, Dec 9, 2009
  15. John Burns

    Tosspot Guest

    Yes that was a bit harsh. But I can't see any problem for anyone that rides a
    bike more than every other month unless they are new to the whole idea of tram
    tracks. It must have taken me a day or two to figure them out. They are more
    of a problem for my motorbike because that's big enough and heavy enough to slip
    on them which while not a problem, always makes the heart miss a beat when the
    front wheel slips a few inches to the side.

    No, I'm sorry, in the big scheme of things, for Edinburgh, I'd be complaining
    about the cobble stones. Which while looking lovely, are hell to ride over.
    Tosspot, Dec 9, 2009
  16. John Burns

    Ace Guest

    Just a moment's inattention is all it takes...
    Ace, Dec 9, 2009
  17. John Burns

    Ian Guest

    Hence the use of the word "normally", which is not the same as

    Consider also, please. that this is not the first time that Edinburgh
    has had trams along these very streets (indeed, there was a "All Cars
    Stop Here" sign outside the tenement which was my birthplace at 138
    Nicolson Street, on the tram route out to Liberton) - and there were
    *far more* cyclists around in those days, and *much less*
    mollycoddling elfin safetee with signs saying "look out... nasty tram

    Whilst the tram lines do present an extra hazard in some places, a
    competent cyclist will be able to deal with it. Edinburgh's excellent
    "grid system" of roads in the central area does allow alternative
    routes for the less competent cyclist.

    Please visit our appeal at

    Ian, Dec 9, 2009
  18. John Burns

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 09 Dec 2009 06:37:22 +0000 someone who may be Tosspot
    This is the first time, since the 1950s, that there have been tram
    tracks in Edinburgh. Cyclists will get more used to them with time.
    However, they are still very badly designed, for the reasons I gave
    earlier. It is not for want of trying by cyclists, but they were
    listened to politely and then ignored.
    Cobbles are square and have round tops. Setts, which is what there
    traditionally are in Edinburgh, are oblong and have flat tops.
    David Hansen, Dec 9, 2009
  19. John Burns

    Ian Guest

    Shouldn't be a problem - they are there all the time, so you know to
    be aware of them.

    Please visit our appeal at

    Ian, Dec 9, 2009
  20. John Burns

    Ian Guest

    Much more truth in that!! But they do contribute to the character of
    the place, so, if I were a cyclist in Edinburgh, I would put up with
    the mild inconvenience, or find another route!

    Please visit our appeal at

    Ian, Dec 9, 2009
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