Tram Grooves & Cycling

As we have seen from comments in an earlier post on Dublin trams, cyclists are now hurtling along tram lines but cyclists in Edinburgh are complaining about the trams because the wheels go into the grooves.

Now here is what the AA in Ireland have to say about cyclists’ safety and trams:

“* Be careful during wet or icy weather, as tram rails can be slippery.
* When crossing tram rails do so as close as possible to a right angle.
* Where possible, avoid braking whilst on tram rails.
* Do not ride immediately adjacent to a tram rail as cycle wheels may be caught in the tram rail groove,
* Cyclists are advised not to ride on ‘Tram Only’ Streets
* Some streets will be designated as ‘Tram Only’ Streets, the road surface within the tram tracks on these streets or sections of streets are not suitable for wheeled vehicles other than trams. Cyclists are advised to dismount at these locations.
* The acceleration and braking characteristics of a tram are comparable to other motorised vehicles.”

Just how is this safety message going to go across to all cyclists? And if there are ‘Tram Only’ roads surely this is not good, unless there are some good side streets for them to use, which is a bit of a nuisance.

Edinburgh Trams are liaising with SPOKES and cyclist lobby groups:

“Throughout the development of the Edinburgh Tram Project, The City of Edinburgh Council and tie Ltd have been liaising with SPOKES and other cycle lobby groups to ensure that the resulting infrastructure considers the needs of all users.

Designers have considered a wide range of cycle options in developing their
proposals which will be refined in consideration of various constraints.”

I know no system is perfect, but it has to be much better than people jumping into cars all the time but we do need to know how to deal with them, and learn of the dangers and whether all our bikes have to have MTB tyres, even the Bromptons, to jump over them or should we all go out and buy BMXs?

5 responses to “Tram Grooves & Cycling

  1. weefoldingbike

    It’s possible to have spring loaded metal plates inside the tracks but this is expensive.

    The interface between track and road appears to have been done badly and will crumble causing further longitudinal wheel traps.

    It goes down the main street in Edinburgh city centre so it’s hard to avoid.

    The government told the council it would be a bad idea but the opposition forced it through in a sort of scorched earth policy. We have a minority government here.

  2. And here is a comment from my Green Pro Train/Pro Tram, non cycling friend:

    “This is ridiculous. Cyclists complained about tram tracks 100 years ago too! Common sense says don’t ride along them, ride parallel to them, and cross them at a sharp angle. I despair. While cycling should be encouraged, there are some cyclists who believe progress should cease for their benefit, EVEN when it is a transport mode as environmentally friendly as an electric tram. Cyclists use to complain about electric trolleybuses too. They were so quiet they could not hear them and cyclists would turn right without looking behind them! Some of them think they are entitled to be cossetted. They think they should be alllowed on the busiest trains leaving city centres at rush hour time with their bikes taking up 4 standee spaces! “

  3. Ah, that told us then, it is just common sense that we should dart round them:-0)

  4. weefoldingbike

    Trams still need electricity so it just moves the pollution off the street to somewhere else. They can’t violate the first law of thermodynamics.

    I don’t expect to be cosseted but I also don’t expect things to be made less safe.

    Ask your friend to look into the Edinburgh scheme a little more closely. It’s not there for environmental reasons, it’s political.

  5. jackgreen88

    I think Bikes should be allowed on Trains at all times,they do it on the Continent without any fuss. Have a Carraige for Bikes so that Cyclists can sit in the same Carraige with the Bikes some distance in front. The Eu has stated that Bikes must be provided for on Trains,but there is a Clause that Countries have so many Years to bring this in.

    In Dublin there are only short Stretches where you can Cycle in the City Centre on the Track and when you leave the City Limits you cannot Cycle anymore on them.

    You can Drive a Car or Cycle on a small Stretch if you want Access to a Street but not on long Stretches.

    I do not pay much heed to the AA they like to Preach to Cyclists but Deride Cyclists as well,their interests are only for the Motorists and are first to complain if Infrastructure is put in for Cyclists and Pedestrians like that 30KM Limit or Contraflow for Cyclists.

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