Edinburgh Council divide to rule
Throughout the tram project the Council administration has followed a divide and rule policy toward not only separate interest groups, (thus trying to create a completely false cyclists v car drivers opposition) but also even neighbourhood v neighbourhood opposition.
The *we can't do anything for you - because it would not be fair to them* argument is invariably used to do nothing for anybody.
"On time and on budget" became the rightly derided Council catchphrase, characterising the complacent use of convenient untruths to cover up reality during the planning and construction phase of the prooject
*No worries* could come to be seen as the even more complacent phrase characterising the next ten years.
As clear warnings inside the predictions in their own major reports continue to go unheeded, plans for more of what has failed before are quietly promoted and pushed forward.
The main efforts are directed at making sure facts are buried, and inconvenient truths kept well away from the public.
Our own group is used to hearing we have been portrayed by someone or other inside the council as NIMBYs; activists interested in only our own street and to hell with anyone and everyone else.----- we are not.
We have been portrayed as being anti-cyclist/pro-car (by the Council) ----- we are not.
We have been accused of being anti-tram, and even anti-public transport in general --- which is an absolute joke because we are not.
We have been told that nothing can be done for our streets because the problem would only get pushed into someone else's backyard -- Then we hear other people are told things are getting worse in their backyard BECAUSE of things being done to placate us.
We have made clear many times before but will do again, that we were first alarmed when we saw the official report that traffic will get worse across large areas of the city through to 2026 because of the tram...*traffic* of course meaning not just pollution but noise/general degredation to lived environment/increased risk from physical traffic as well.
The report predicted traffic would get BETTER and air quality improve by 2010 compared to 2001 DESPITE the facts of population growth, more car ownership and so on --- because of technological improvements to vehicle engines and fuel.
But from 2010 to 2026 but that these would all get worse --- BECAUSE of the tram.
These ARE counter intuitive things to say, and so much so that many people simply do not believe they CAN be true.
Even though they are.
But this makes it easier for the Council media people to keep on spinning, and keep on parrotting the same line.
This report did NOT predict a group like ours would make things worse...just that the tram itself would because in a city where any new road building is almost impossible to conceive of, let alone carry out , it simply annexes too much main road space and leaves too little behind.
What's happening is what was predicted to happen: The traffic in our street and down York Place gets so bad the road becomes unable to carry it effectively far more quickly and far more frequently and everything slows to a crawl and then gridlock.
As predicted people, whether in cars, motor bikes, vans, lorries, HGVs or whatever are taking different routes to avoid this...but as these then silt up they go further afield.
This is because the the wide streets of Shandwick Place, PrincesSstreet and George Street that used to carry the traffic are now effectively sealed off for the tram alone, and and buses, although these are being reduced as well..
(Remeber the early spin that the tram could *share* roadspace---- that was so effective people still beleive it. The execs who worked on it always knew it would never really be able to share and bit by bit you can see the roadspace being cleared... but you won't read about it anywhere because they're hoping nobody will notice.!)
Stating the problem isn't a case of shouting *Not in My Back Yard* :this is a problem that should be *Not In ANYBODIES back yard*
But because of inepitude, cover-up, denail and misleading spin in the council it's a problem that will soon enough (as predicted- of course) be at everbody's front door.***
***Stag 2003 Report predicted MORE of ALL homes in Edinburgh would have worse air pollution (therefore also worse noise, disruption, congestion etc) as a RESULT of building the tram as compared to NOT building it.
Compare on the linked table:
"Do min (ie DON'T build the tram) in 2026" to "Do Som (ie WITH tram built) in 2026"
see *improvement NO2: 119,100 compared to WORSENING N02: 139,550 = 20,400 households MORE are worse off than better off
and *Improvement PM10s: 112,050 compared to WORSENING 134,500 = 22,450 households MORE are worse off than better off
Comparing total of worse and better for N02 119,100 + 139,550 = 258,650 -- worse off are 54% of total
Comparing total of worse and better for PM10 pollution 112,050 + 134,500 = 246,550 ---worse off are 54% of total
Then read the three short paragraphs and you'll probably end up thinking things are better off!!...interesting to see how it's done?!