Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Nurse tells of injuries after tram line fall

Image caption Cyclists have been reporting how their wheels have got stuck in the tram line's grooves

A children's nurse has told a court how she was left injured after being thrown from her bike crossing tram tracks in Edinburgh.

Elizabeth Fairley is suing Edinburgh Trams and the city council after her fall near Haymarket station in 2013.

The 58-year-old told the Court of Session how her bike's rear wheel got caught in the tram track and she was thrown into the path of traffic.

The council maintains that it fulfilled all duties of reasonable care.

Ms Fairley was travelling from the city's Royal Hospital for Sick Children to her home in the Corstorphine area of Edinburgh when she came off her bike and hurt her knee and face.

The advanced nurse practitioner said she had approached the tram line at Haymarket with caution as a previous incident had made her aware of the danger of a wheel getting caught in the tracks.

She said: "I knew from that previous experience you had to cross them, if at all possible, at 90 degrees. It is not always possible, but anything to avoid your wheel getting dragged back into the tram tracks,"

Thrown into the path of cars

Ms Fairley explained how she had travelled down Morrison Street towards Haymarket station on the evening of 16 October, 2013.

She said: "I crossed there to get across both tram tracks, but I had to straighten up because there were cars.

"I was looking at the front wheel and trying to get that over and trying to avoid the cars passing. Something pulled me into the tram track and threw me over in the path of the cars that were overtaking me,"

"I have to think it was the back wheel slipping back into the tram tracks.

"It all happened in a split second. The bike got thrown over. I got thrown over to the right hand side and fell on the road."

Image caption Cyclists have been injured crossing the tram lines

The nurse, who was wearing a cycling helmet, said she suffered injuries to her knee and chin, and a black eye appeared the following day.

Ms Fairley originally sued for £50,000 but the court heard that the amount of damages to be paid, if her claim succeeds, has been agreed. The figure was not disclosed.

A similar case is being brought by Ian Lowdean who was injured when he fell on Princes Street on 22 October, 2012.

A further 39 claims against Edinburgh Trams by cyclists have been put on hold while these two lead cases proceed.

In May, 2017 a cyclist died after her wheel became stuck in tram tracks and she fell into the path of a minibus in Princes Street.

Edinburgh City Council and Edinburgh Trams, which is owned by the local authority, are both contesting liability in the case.

The council maintains that it fulfilled all duties of reasonable care.

The hearing before Lady Wolffe continues.

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