City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Transport Blog

actionman writes on 8 February 2013, 5.22pm:

Transport Convenor, Lesley Hinds, has announced that the City Council will pay for the extension of the concessionary travel scheme to all those who wish to travel on the light railway "tram" once it starts operating.

Doubtless this will be a significant morale boost to the countless thousands of concessionary card holders who saw the possibility of being denied a tram ride as a bitter body blow, however, as the city will have to pay for the cost of this themselves, I suspect that Councillor Hinds is hoping that the bill will not be too large in these times of austerity.

But the planners of the light railway "tram" have virtually ensured that the take-up will be relatively small, because the majority of tram stops are not in locations which will be much use to concessionary card holders. With only one stop in Princes Street and one in St Andrew Square, where you alight for the main railway station at Waverley, or struggle uphill from the...

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actionman writes on 8 January 2013, 6.37pm:

You would think that the delivery of the last tram to make up the 27 that we will have clogging up the Gogar Depot, that this was some sort of a major triumph in the way it was reported in the press and generally in the media!

The fact that Council officials have front loaded this project and spent many, many millions of taxpayers pounds on unwanted and unnecessary trams, rails, overhead electric cabling and poles, to mention but a few of the many extravagances of the Council officials, should be a cause for extreme anger and heads should roll - but they wont!

We have the same inefficient crew telling our Councillors what to do, who were the architects of the Central Edinburgh Transport Management plan, which was a disaster and then the same bunch failed miserably over the Congestion Charge proposals. Now they are blundering about over the tram project - but no one will go - perhaps the Councillors are afraid to get rid of them?

Just think, for the close on...

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edg writes on 28 December 2012, 11.37am:

Edinburgh City Council is warning people that a number of roads will be subject to closures and parking restrictions over the next few days.

Restrictions will be progressively introduced starting tomorrow as the city prepares for the three-day Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festivities. Parking restrictions will be indicated by “No Waiting” cones, and where appropriate, warning signs.

Any changes to road closures and/ or parking restrictions will be advertised by way of street notices and on the Council web site.

Road Closures: 30 December 2012

For the Torchlight Procession, Chambers St will close at 10am.The remainder of the procession route will close at 6pm. The route moves along Chambers St, Bank St, South Bridge, North Bridge, Waterloo Pl, Regent Road to Carriage Drive up Calton Hill.

South Bridge will reopen at 8.30pm with...

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actionman writes on 25 October 2012, 12.21pm:

All the hype from Edinburgh City Council about the early arrival of the Edinburgh trams has left traders and residents fearful for the outcome of this dreadful project which has caused so much mayhem for years while incompetent Council officials force through this highly unpopular scheme.

The construction dislocation along the in-city section of the tram line has caused many traders to close with several going bankrupt. The anger and frustration has been evident at the meetings which the City Council has arranged to brief about "progress".

Looking down Shandwick Place at the number of empty shops emphasises the terrible impact the tram project has had on business.

But what is disturbing for residents is that there appears to be no final plan of where the traffic will flow once the tram works are complete. Time and again the Council has been asked to produce a plan showing how traffic...

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edg writes on 11 October 2012, 8.47am:

Eric Lomax, who wrote movingly about his experiences of being tortured as a Japanese POW and his subsequent reconcilation with one of his torturers, died on Monday at the age of 93.

I reviewed his book The Railway Man when it first came out in 1995 for a local magazine. I still remember his being an incredible story, providing a profound insight into the power of apology.

The film has been adapted into a major feature film with Colin Firth playing Eric Lomax and Nicole Kidman his wife, due for release next year.

In his memory, here's my original article from 1995.

Eric Lomax RIP.

Ghosts of the River Kwai

Without trains, Eric Lomax would never have met his wife – or his torturers.

His book may be a horrifying personal testimony of torture, humiliation and suffering at the hands of Japanese soldiers – but it also provides a grain of hope.

For The Railway Man, by former POW Eric Lomax,...

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Bus station entrance St Andrew Square

edg writes on 14 September 2012, 7.18pm:

Edinburgh's bus station at St Andrew Square will now stay open during the next phase of the tram works on York Place and buses will have access all the way along Princes Street from this weekend, the City of Edinburgh Council announced today.

Under the previous plan, the bus station was going to be re-located this month until 2013 for the tramworks.

Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “We have been listening to the local community and bus operators who stressed that access to the bus station during the course of the tram works was a high priority. However, it was also important to balance this with the need to continue to make good and steady progress to complete the works”.

During this next phase of tram works, buses will be able to access the bus station via a diversion route using Leith Street, Little King Street, St. James Place and Elder...

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Trackworks at Gogarburn

edg writes on 7 September 2012, 7.48pm:

City of Edinburgh Council Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds continues to be upbeat about the prospects for Edinburgh's trams staying on track with the revised schedule.

Today, the Council released some images showing progress of the line including track laid between Edinburgh International Airport and Ingliston Park and curving trackworks being laid at Gogarburn (above).

Pictured below is the track being laid at the West End of Princes Street.

“The tram project has continued to make good and steady progress throughout the summer months with many sections of the line now clearly visible to residents and visitors," said Hinds in a statement.

“With construction work along the entire length of the line from the tram stop at Edinburgh International Airport to the York Place turn-around terminus, we are on schedule to complete the project and run passenger services by Summer 2014."...

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Lifts open in Waverley

edg writes on 15 August 2012, 10.07pm:

Transport minister Keith Brown cut the ribbon yesterday on Waverley Station's new lifts (or "elevators" if you speak Americanese) providing "easy and step-free access from Princes Street for the first time in 140 years".

Two 16-person lifts now descend to Waverley from the roof of the Princes Mall. Also, as part of the "Waverley Steps Improvement Project" a new covered step and escalator access has been put in between Princes Street and the north entrance to Waverley station.

"The ‘Windy Steps’ have been given a vital upgrade and are now accessible and convenient for all passengers," said David Simpson, Network Rail route managing director for Scotland, of the "stylish and bright" new entrance.

Personally, I liked it the way things were. Trudging up and down the broad staircase of the well-worn stone slabs of ...

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Bridge for Edinburgh tramline at South Gyle

edg writes on 15 August 2012, 6.44pm:

Edinburgh City Council reported today that beam installation for the last two bridges for the Edinburgh Tram line has been successfully completed.

Along the 14km of the route, 12 bridges are being constructed with a combined length of 566 metres.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport Convener, said: "While work on these two bridges will continue in the weeks ahead we are now in a position where the basic structures have been put in place."

Construction on some of the bridges (recently Balgreen Road and Water of Leith) has brought disruption and noise through the night for some Edinburgh residents. Work cannot be carried on bridges close to railway tracks while trains are running so it has to take place at night.

"I would like to thank local communities affected by the construction process for their continued patience," said Hinds.

Pictured above is the South Gyle Access Bridge after...

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Taxis Descending into Waverley Station

edg writes on 14 August 2012, 9.23am:

Taxis will continue to operate from Waverley Station following the development of a draft agreement between Network Rail and City of Edinburgh Council. A report to Edinburgh City Council had previously suggested that removing taxis would cost the Council "up To £1 million" to redesign Market Street and Waverley Bridge.

Transport chiefs from the two organisations met at Waverley Station on Friday, and a  proposal was agreed upon which would allow taxis access to the station via a secure, controlled entry system by January 2013.

Access for specialised disabled organisation vehicles will also be maintained as part of the agreement.

Drop-offs for private vehicles will be moved to Market Street, while free short term parking for up to 30 minutes will be arranged in New Street car park to the south of the station.

“Network Rail is...

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