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Edinburgh Council face revolt over street shutdown

on Fri, 06/29/2012 - 22:21

The story in the Scotsman contains a familiar and increasingly disingenuous line from the Council.

This is that although the disruption, upheaval and mess across the City traffic system is horrendous it will be worth it in the end and go back to 'normal'.

This isn't so. .

The tram is designed to be very large and relatively fast..just like London Underground or Tyneside metro trains.

Having a relatively high average speed, like those successful Light Rail systems, it also needs the trackway to be as empty as possible.  The stopping distances and lines of sight don't permit safe working integrated with other traffic at the speeds designed into the operational running..

But unlike those systems it does not have exclusive trackway for it's whole length.

Like those it does have a relatively high designed in journey speed in order to meet timetables that were justified on the grounds of the original Business plan requirements.

That plan has disintegrated as every circumstance and assumption around the system have changed out of all recognition but this need for speed, and size, has remained.

Something very large and very fast (the largest tram in Europe) canbnot stop easily  and as a consequence the 'road cleansing' was considered to be a necessary condition.

This is why it is not like the tram systems many of us have seen across Europe and the rest of the world that are slower, have shorter stopping distances and so CAN mix easily with traffic.

That is why it is dishonest to pretend that 'once the work is done' things will 'get back to normal' because they won't.  The traffic congestion will remain and the rises in traffic down unsuitable streets will increase, there is no option because the council didn't want to go to the trouble of providing one.