Keeping road users safe on Leith Walk

As part of the Leith Programme, new cycle ways have recently gone live on Leith Walk, along with a pioneering ‘two-stage right turn’ at McDonald Road to help less confident cyclists turn right safely.

To help make it clear where the cycle lane meets the general traffic road space, ‘soft segregation’ in the form of  'armadillo' (or 'Orca’) lane separators were introduced on a trial basis at a number of locations.

However, this four-week trial highlighted that the armadillos can pose an increased safety risk for pedestrians, with reports of some safety issues from pedestrians and cyclists. The armadillos have now been removed.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes has instructed Council officers to carry out a safety-based options analysis to find the most appropriate way of both helping cyclists feel safe while using the dedicated lane and minimising any trip risk for pedestrians. These options will be consulted on with relevant groups including cycling and pedestrian organisations, as well as local and community councillors, before a decision is taken on the best course of action.

In addition, due to a high volume of complaints about inconsiderately parked vehicles blocking the cycle way in places, the Council will be instructing its parking enforcement contractor to pay particular attention to Leith Walk to combat this.

Cllr Macinnes said: “I cannot stress enough how important it is that we keep our roads and footways safe for everyone who uses them – whether they’re on foot, a bike or in a vehicle. Clearly these armadillos caused some concern, so it’s right that we take a step back and do a full assessment of what the most suitable option might be. Whatever option is eventually chosen, we’ll make sure there’s a highly visible public awareness campaign alongside it so that everyone understands what’s being put in place.”

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