Call to ban Edinburgh bin lorries from driving near schools after fatal crash

An Edinburgh[1] councillor is calling for heavy goods vehicles owned by the local authority to be restricted from driving near schools and nurseries during key travel times after an 11-year-old was hit and killed by a bin lorry. Thomas Wong died earlier this month[2] after he was knocked off his bike near Cramond Primary where he was a pupil. His family said they were "utterly heartbroken" while last week members of the council's transport committee vowed to do everything in their power to avoid a repeat of the fatal crash.

Kevin Lang, who represents Cramond and Barnton as Lib Dem councillor for the Almond ward, will table a motion next week calling on officials to review the operation of waste collection services across Edinburgh to ensure bin lorries do not not operate near schools and nurseries at their start and finish times. He said he had "long heard concerns from residents about council bin lorries operating close to schools and nurseries at key travel times". He added: "While Thomas' death involved a commercial lorry and not a council operated vehicle, this tragic event should serve as a wake-up call to ensure the council's HGVs are all operating as safely as possible.

"I know our own officers take their responsibilities incredibly seriously, but we should be doing all we can to minimise any chance of accidents and collisions, especially when it comes to children.

"As part of overall safety improvements, now is the time to look at changing waste collection routes and timetables so heavy vehicles are not operating when so many young children are nearby." Furthermore the motion seeks to review the health and safety training requirements of HGV drivers and the detection equipment on vehicles to minimise accidents. "Along with improvements to driver training and new on-vehicle equipment, I hope these changes can mean the Council leads best practice on safety.

We need to put our hands on our hearts and say we're doing everything we can," Cllr Lang said. Paul Lawrence, director of place for the council, said it was officials' intention to look at "immediate" actions, which could include drawing up temporary road orders, as well as long-term "substantive measures" to improve road safety in the area where he incident occurred as he addressed councillors at the transport and environment committee on Thursday, march 7. Among suggestions made by cycling group Spokes at the meeting was to restrict HGV movements at school travel times, increase the number of speed bumps and create more pavement space in front of the Barnton shops.

Spokes member Graeme Hart, who lives in Cramond near to where the incident occurred said the local community was "heartbroken beyond words".

He said: "We wish we could bring him back but we cannot.

"What we can do is everything in our power to make sure it never happens again."


  1. ^ Edinburgh (
  2. ^ died earlier this month (
  3. ^ Breadalbane: Edinburgh firefighters descend on block of flats as black smoke plumes into sky (
  4. ^ West Lothian prisoner, 32, dies behind bars as inquiry launched (