Sentinels Solicitors

Consumer and Injury Specialists

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01925 759 510

Cycling accidents caused by tram tracks

As a cyclist there are many obstacles to contend with on the roads.  Something I have come across is the hazard caused by tram tracks.

There are 2 obvious hazards:

1. the slipping hazard caused by the smooth material of the track and any surrounding track bedding on which tyres can slip due to the reduced friction; and

2. the trapping hazard caused by the bicycle wheel entering the track groove where the tram wheel goes.

Both hazards are likely to cause a cyclist to lose balance/control and fall from their bike.

There are many cities with tram systems and many cyclists in those cities.  There are likely to be many accidents, however not all accidents will be the fault of the tram company even if they have been caused by the tram tracks.

It is likely to be necessary to show that the traffic layout created a particular hazard for cyclists due to the close proximity to the tram tracks the cyclists are forced to ride and/or due to the angle at which cyclists are forced to cross the tracks.

The safest angle is 90 degrees, that is at right angles to the track but this is not always possible or practical.  There are guidelines which suggest 45 degrees is the minimum and in Holland, where they have lots of cyclists and trams, they have guidelines which say 60 degrees is the minimum angle to cross safely.

Edinburgh has a tram system and many cyclists and 2 cyclists successfully claimed for injuries in accidents caused by the tram tracks.  One was near Haymarket Station and the other on Princes Street near its junction with Frederick Street.  Both areas created the hazard of  forcing the cyclist to cross the tram tracks at too shallow an angle.   The 2 areas of the tram system had also been noted in Road Safety Audits as being a danger but nothing had been done.

If you have had a cycling accident caused by tram tracks wherever you have been and been injured as a result call Nick on 01925 759 510 to investigate a claim for your injuries and any bike damage or other losses.  As a keen cyclist I will fight your corner!

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