December 2014
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Tram issues and development


See also our Princes Street and City Centre downloads page

Note:  In early 2012 responsibility for the tram project was taken over by Edinburgh City Council from the former TIE organisation.

Contents

1. Important - reporting tramline crashes
2. Documents relating to Edinburgh tram
3. Other useful tram documents [not Edinburgh]

1. Important special note re tramline crashes

All crashes or other incidents relating to tramlines should be reported to City of Edinburgh Council, who are keeping a record and using this to try and identify problems which need addressed.  The preferred reporting method is freephone 0800 328 3934 or you can email trams@edinburgh.gov.uk or write to Tram Project Office, 9 Lochside Avenue, Edinburgh EH12 9DJ.

Please report such incidents even if they were in the past and you have only just discovered this reporting method, and even if you have already notified the police or anyone else.  These contacts can also be used for any queries about the tram or tramlines.

Please also report your crash to Spokes – for example, if you email as above to report your crash please cc: to Spokes.

If you are considering making a claim for damages – Spokes has prepared an information sheet on claiming for a tramline-related incident [pdf 106k]

2. Documents relating to Edinburgh tram

1311 Tramline blackspotsvideo by Evening News interviewing Spokes member Peter Hawkins

1310 Haymarket tramlines disaster

1105 Interim Road Safety Audit for Princes Street. The council/TIE has obtained an independent road safety audit, which Spokes has seen, and which vindicates many of the points Spokes has made over tramline dangers [e.g. see Spokes Bulletin 110].   Princes St is to close for 10 months as from 3 July to rebuild the tramline foundations, and we are told that the safety audit recommendations will be addressed in that work.   A ‘final’ safety audit will then be commissioned and made publicly available.  Also, prior to the road closure, some immediately critical faults (such as the grooves beside the tramlines) have been rectified.

1009 12-month cycleroute closure near Russell Road [pdf 416k] [CLOSURE CANCELLED/POSTPONED DUE TO TRAM UNCERTAINTIES]  The cycleroute beside Balbirnie Place, including the connection to Russell Road, will be closed for approx 12 months from 20.09.10, to allow construction of a tram bridge over Russell Road.  See also our September 2 news item.

1002 Spokes Tramlines Advice Note [pdf 539k]  Aims to advise you how to cope with cycling near tramlines, and provide some background.   Please send us suggestions to improve the advice.  We’ve also come across a video of how to cross tramlines – very useful, though not entirely applicable to the big problem of turning off Princes St when there’s traffic and/or you are starting from a lane which contains tramlines.

0912 Cyclist Survey re Princes Street tramlines [pdf 176k] Results of Spokes survey of cyclists visiting the TIE/BikeStation tramline training session.  We asked about problems resulting from tramlines, and about the future of Princes Street.  Note there are only 21 responses, so the results are mainly useful to highlight issues rather than to draw too definitive conclusions on specific points.  It is however clear that there is considerable worry about the present situation; and extremely high demand for a European-style 2-way cycleroute on one side of the tracks once the trams arrive, with motor traffic removed from both sides, or perhaps just that side, of Princes Street.

0912  Video of TIE/Bike Station Tramline Training event On Dec 13 a training event was held in a coned-off area of Princes Street.  A video was produced http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7supOhm9PXY.   It does give you some advice but is as much a record of the event as a training video.  Some pictures, indeed, appear to show what not to do – for example, the cyclist with fat tyres who successfully crosses the tramlines at a fairly narrow angle – that can be dodgy in wet weather and is totally unsafe with narrower tyres.

1310 update  For a while the council advertised the above as a training video but, perhaps wisely, it appears to have disappeared from their website.

0909  Draft Traffic Regulation Orders governing allowed turnings, parking restrictions, etc in association with tram.  There are 26 TRO drawings available at www.tramsforedinburgh.com – storysofar – design – Oct 2009.  [Note - this is  a 38.8MB downloadable interactive file].  As an example, here is the Lothian Road – Shandwick Place TRO drawing, on which you can see the left-turn ban at the foot of Lothian Road, and the extremely dangerous connection from Princes St to Shandwick Place due to the only ahead-lane having tramlines in it!!   Exhibitions and a chance to formally comment/object are expected in Feb/March 201o – the above website includes an Explanatory Note on the TRO procedures.

0907  TPi Tram-Cycle Integration Study [pdf 12151k] commissioned by TIE/CEC in view of continuing concerns from Spokes and others that cyclist integration, access and safety, particularly onroad, was needing more attention.  Note: this file is too large to upload until we are on the new server.

0903 TIE Cycling and Trams Brochure [4771k]  produced to give advance info and news of how cyclist/tram integration was being treated.   Circulated to all Spokes members in early 2009.  Includes a useful picture showing the angles at which to (not) cross tramlines.

0812 Report by Dutch consultant Hans van der Stok [pdf 7035k] brought over by Spokes and by TIE to advise on bike/tram integration onroad.   Despite Spokes’s best efforts over a very long period, most of his recommendations were rejected by TIE and the Council – for 2 main reasons.  First, to preserve as much car-parking space as possible on Leith Walk.  Second, to reserve road width for a central island – some technical reasons were given for this (e.g. traffic light visibility) but as it is extremely rare in other tram systems we strongly suspect that it was done for ‘streetscape’ reasons (i.e. because it supposedly looks nice).

3. Other useful tram documents [mainly not Edinburgh]

1208 Cyclist consideration in tramline design – USA v Netherlands - blog post from The Urban Country.

1207 Commentary on tramline installation details (grooves,  heights, etc) by transport specialist Dave Holladay, including Edinburgh/Nottingham comparison.  [Link to follow]

1204 Legal case against Seattle transport authority [USA] re. tramline dangers.   Articles by BikePortland.org  1.6.10 Original article   12.4.12 Case initially refused

1005 Manchester – GMCC Bikes on Trams report [pdf 154k].  Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign have for around a decade been campaigning to achieve bike carriage on Manchester Metro.  Their efforts are remarkable for the incredible evidence base they have built up.  The above report, for example, includes a table covering 99 light rail systems in 19 European countries.   For a while GMCC also published an excellent newsletter, Cycle Carriage News.  There is a 2011 summary of the long GMCC campaign, which includes links to all issues of Cycle Carriage News.

0810 Portland, Oregon – Bicycle Interactions and Streetcars [pdf 1.9MB] – comprehensive document on bike/tram planning and interaction

 

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