By Otis Shaw
Cyclists are making a militant return to the streets in Edinburgh after the initial shock of the tragic death of Edinburgh University neuroscientist, Dr Iain Wilson. The 35 year-old academic, from Duddingston, was killed in a collision as he turned onto Nicholson street on the first of May 2008. The death has highlighted the vulnerability of Edinburgh cyclists and created a division between cyclists and motorists.
The loss of Iain Wilson resulted in a lull of cyclists in Edinburgh during the summer months. Now there has been a noted influx of road users who no longer want to wait on public transport or listen to the ramblings of black cab drivers. This welcome return of cyclists in Edinburgh has been met with disapproval from motorists in the city.
Local cab driver, George Melworth, 42, from Portobello, said, “cyclists are now taking over the streets and endangering lives. I witnessed a mother and child weave in and out of rush hour traffic, in the heavy rain. It wont be long before we witness another death.”
Cyclist Shaun Rider, from Morningside, said, “we will no longer bow to bullying motorists, who ignore road safety and use aggressive behaviour to tackle the ever increasing Edinburgh traffic.”
Due to the advanced tram works around the city, Edinburgh’s roads are now a battleground for motorists and cyclists alike. Has road safety taken a back seat as busy lanes are blocked with public transport and commuters spend hours stuck in traffic? As cycle lanes are dug up by the council, some say do Edinburgh cyclists have any other choice, than to wage war on motorists?
The fatal incident was amongst a series of incidents involving cyclists in the Capital. A police spokesman, appealed for calm and consideration amongst commuters travelling in rush hour traffic.