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No problems, no worries, no matter

on Wed, 06/05/2013 - 08:38

These sorts of thing (The reported about-turn on the one way Loop(y) plan for public transport around George Street/Princes Street) are what happen when warnings are ignored, and consequently disasters turn into crises and then to catastrophes.

Edinburgh Council  have no good choices left, and the attempt to balance needs and requirements has become impossible, even the people running the Large Hadron Collider don't have big enough brains or super-computers  to yank things back on course when they get to the point they have reached in Edinburgh.

The drop out of that recent top-10 cities list won't be the last fall down the rankings...Edinburgh is a fantastic city with world class advantages but after acting for years as if whatever they do won't 'really' do any lasting damage the Council (and everyone who loves the city) can see that if you show enough hubris, make enough stupid decisions you can achieve anything ---- even ruining a city with so much going for it as Edinburgh used to have.

The attempts to portray opposition to the tram project as coming only from car obssessed, nimbys desperate that their street and only their street should have no traffic--and to hell with anyone else-- including cyclists, was always a cynical startegy of despair created to try and cover up the fact that CEC have no good answers to a whole range of reasonable questions.

  • Cyclists and pedestrians should have safe, pleasant areas , not only separate from motor vehicles , but also, because of the speed discrepancy separate wherever possible, from each other -- the same shortening of reaction time that causes a car at 40 mph to knock down a cyclist, going at 12 mph, when trying to overtake them, leads to cyclists hitting pedestrians when doing 25mph attempt to make decisons about avoiding pedestrians (without rear view mirrors) going at 3 or 4 mph.
  • Cities require modern mass transit people mover systems.
  • Cities need smaller, more frequently stopping, public transport systems.
  • City centres should not simply be given over to monocultures of shopping by day or drinking (night time economy) in the evening.
  • And unfortunate as some people appear to believe it to be, all cities require private, non-public, personal and commercial transport to function and prosper.  
  • Balancing and mitigating the potential conflicts between these aims is the whole point of sensible, balanced and integrated planning


The above statements are unobjectionable, at least to us on this website.

Our argument is not, and never has been, with any of the 'vision' things  the council choose to proclaim in their press releases and media spin.

It is with the gap between 'vision' and 'reality' created by the colossal failures of competence and planning in the way they try and turn these visions into reality.



Until what, with some honourable exceptions, has become a bunker mentality towards the increasingly apparent and worsening problems created by pursuing a 'build it all costs'  strategy changes, inside Waverley Court and City Chambers, there is no prospect of any material change in what is on it's way to being a two decade long tale of    ' We know best ' hubris.

The tram project is only a part; albeit the most egregious part, of what in truth has been a greater failure.

This failure is of the system of governance and democratic process itself, that has turned a familiar multi party, coalition type of  democratic representation into what, in a sense has become a type of one party state, with all parties trudging along obediently, co-opted by previous uncritical enthusiam into surly but silent support.

Each successive unavoidable disaster (last week's was the revelation of the dire state of city finances, not helped by the £1.5M plus A MONTH, needed to pay for the tram over the next 300 months or so) becomes, not a cause to rise up and finally question what the hell is going on, but just another brick in the wall of silence.

It appears no single, unfolding outcome will be sufficient to create the conditions necessary for the desperately needed re-appraisal of the blighted project in all it's aspects, however bad it may be.  

And while I suppose it is always possible that, like a broken watch, the project will somehow 'come right ' and mend itself,  the more likely prospect is that the council will continue determinedly to build their 'wall' ever higher, until it collapses of it's own accord -- in a year or two dropping out of Europe's 'Top' ten cities may seem the least of it.


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