City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Tram Works Stifle the City

By actionman - Posted on 22 December 2011

Ainslie Place traffic congestion

Why has the City Council decided it must punish its citizens? The cancerous tram road works, closures, diversions, route changes and alterations seem never ending and everyone in the city, be they a pedestrian, cyclist or car driver is bemused, bewildered and angry at the incompetent way that the City Council have vested this wanton destruction of what should be an immensely attractive city to visit.

The tragedy is that things are going to get very much worse once the light railway is forced through the city via St Andrew Square to York Place. But don't be fooled, this is indeed a light railway and not a 'tram' as we all used to know them.

We are going to have the main intended through routes of the city virtually deserted while the traffic is forced through all the residential areas  to the detriment of the health of some 139,500 households (some 279,000 individuals as a minimum). But our happy go lucky Councillors sit back and pretend that everything is just wonderful - and that "we will love it all in due course" - what rubbish!

The tram programme will steadily devour up masses of road space with every yard of track that is laid. People coming into the city better get used to horrendous delays, grid-lock and and an impossible parking situation. Clearly the Council are at war with the motorist as well as with the cyclists and the pedestrians, because nothing seems to have been constructed with the benefit of the ratepayers of Edinburgh in mind.

Where does the tram link with Waverley, the main railway station? It does not!

How many stops are there in Princes Street? There is only one!

How many people can actually have a seat out of a capacity of some 250? Only seventy eight - the rest have to stand - welcome to Edinburgh after your flight across the Atlantic!

With the Council having attempted to brush off the residents complaints at the hearing before the UN Aarhus Commission last week, the Council seem to feel that this is merely an unwelcome minor distraction and can in effect be ignored. The Councillors have taken the view that, "those people in Geneva are irrelevant and can do nothing to upset the way Edinburgh City Council conducts its business".

Perhaps it is time the Council started being honest with its citizens - why did they deliberately arrange to avoid a Public Inquiry before starting work and spending millions and millions of public money? Why do they now refuse point blank to either release pollution data and why do they refuse to recalculate data on pollution when they have been told by DEFRA that they have not calculated it correctly?

This is a Council staffed by incompetent and inadequate politicians with devious Council officers.   At every stage they have tried to hide the true facts, because it has suited people who have received payments for non-executive roles and for appointments to Council Committees in spite of the fact that, by their own admission , they were never in a thousand years qualified to hold these positions.  Let us hope that the residents of Edinburgh throw them all out of office next May.

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The distance between the Waverley Station entrance at Princes Street (Waverley Steps) and the tram stop at St Andrew Square is going to be shorter than most distances you'd walk inside an airport building so not a huge inconvenience and there may be the option for getting off earlier at Haymarket for connecting trains.

I imagine part of the case for putting in an escalator at the Waverley Steps (bit of a misnomer now) was to accommodate foot traffic created by the trams.

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The council is due to publish its latest pollution data in Spring. Do you know what date by any chance? Will it be reliable?

Can't see matters getting much better with the tram works starting in earnest in early January.

One must ask - "why do the Council steadfastly refuse to publish their pollution figures?"   Are they afraid that this would damage their case for the tram being "Green" ?     Everyone - including the Council - know that the only "Green" area will be at the point of delivery - along the tram route.   They have chosen to refuse to recognise that there is greatly increased pollution from all the displaced traffic.  All that is happening is they are shifting the pollution from where it should be, to areas where it should NEVER be, the residential areas.   The Council also care to ignore the pollution caused by the generation of the electricity and the pollution of the tourist environment by the power cables and all the poles which carry the power cables; Princes Street will never be the same again.

It would be so easy for the Council to make a quick positive move by releasing the figures therfore one must assume that they have something to hide.

The distance as the crow flies may be shorter than in many airports, but the rise of the trundle-along suitcase in the last century was predicated on the extinction of the cheery porters who used to carry luggage at stations, airports, and hotels.

To accomodate the trundling wheels the flat , even, shiny floors were developed and rooves placed over them to keep the people warm and dry and they make their way twixt plane and taxi, hire car, bus , train or tram..

The other notable dvelopment of the 20th century was the prohibition on taking suitcases or heavy luggage on escalators.

Waiting for the lift...dividing people coming off train into lift doesn't bear thinking about.

But wait a minute....people can trundle up the ramp (semi covered) and onto the airlink buses!! If the council spent a decent half hour thinking, and devoted around 0.1% of the money spent on the tram they could probably work out a way to get the air link buses 'rank' into the station and provide the rail-air travellers with a very good service.

The more one looks at the detail of every single aspect of the Light-railway-on-a-road the more and more unbelievable  the decision to to start with it looks, and even moreso to keep on going burning cash without end, merely to wreck the city and get something that's almost the polar opposite of 'integrated'..