Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Cyclists in 'silent protest' over Edinburgh tram track death

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Media captionProtestors carried placards and rang their bicycle bells as a mark of respect for Zhi Min Soh

Cyclists have held a minute's silence for a student who was killed by a tour bus after her wheel reportedly became trapped in a tram track.

Zhi Min Soh, 23, was struck on Edinburgh's Princes Street, at its junction with Lothian Road, at 08:30 on Wednesday 31 May.

Pedal on Parliament held "a short, respectful protest" at the scene exactly a week on from the accident.

Cyclists have previously branded the tracks "an accident waiting to happen".

Ms Soh, from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, was a medical student at Edinburgh University.

'Angry and saddened'

She was described as "talented and thoughtful". The university said it had lost "a bright star of the future".

A Pedal on Parliament statement said: "We and every other cyclist we have spoken to personally and online are angry as well as saddened at this death.

Image copyright Police Scotland

"Edinburgh's tram tracks have been described as an accident waiting to happen from the moment they were unveiled.

"As a result, hundreds of cyclists have been injured from falls on the tracks, and thousands more have had close shaves, putting many off cycling those roads at all.

"This is a sorry record for a city that aspires to be the most cycle-friendly in Scotland. We should not have had to wait for a young woman to die for there to be ministerial action, and a review."

At the protest Megan McHaney told BBC Scotland that she had broken her foot after cycling across a tram line in Edinburgh 18 months ago.

"My wheel slipped on the tracks and it slid out from under me and in that process my foot got mangled," she said.

Image caption Megan McHaney was involved in a cycling accident on a tram line.

Since then she has had two operations as a result of the accident and she is still not fully recovered.

"I came here today because the council has known for a long time that these tracks are not safe for cyclists," she said.

The cyclist added: "We have been waiting for someone to die and sadly somebody did and it's needless."

Chris Playfoot said he arrived at the scene of last week's fatal accident shortly after it happened.

"This is my regular cycle route," he said. "I came here maybe 10 minutes after it happened. It was pretty awful."

Image caption Henry Whaley said he was "saddened" by the death of the cyclist last week.

Another cyclist, Henry Whaley, said he wanted to see cyclists "segregated" from other road traffic, for their own safety.

He added: "More people will cycle if there are safe routes and people who do cycle will be safer if they're away from motorised traffic.

"Segregated routes are the way that we can make the city safer for people who travel around by bike."

The protest comes after lawyers claimed warnings about the safety risks which tram tracks in Edinburgh pose to cyclists have been ignored.

City of Edinburgh Council said it has made "every effort" to raise awareness about the tracks.

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