Letter: Proposed cycle track is an expensive mistake

Protesters against the superhighway. Picture; Greg Macvean
Protesters against the superhighway. Picture; Greg Macvean
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I am hugely disappointed with the council officers’ recommendation for the Roseburn to Haymarket cycle track to go forward today because:

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1. There has been no adequate consideration of the views of residents in the Haymarket, Wester Coates and Roseburn/Murrayfield areas.

2. The impact on 60 traders of removing half of their loading and customer parking will cut business and lead shops to close, thereby destroying the heart of our communities

3. There will be huge congestion problems created by the reduction from 4 lanes to 2 of the A8; the removal of the westbound bus lane makes no sense given the massive growth planned for west of the city

4. Despite an agreement that the Roseburn Vision would be costed by the council, this scheme has been dismissed on ‘security concerns’ - whatever that might mean - and no further work done.

5. There are a number of detailed proposals that have not been thought through. In particular, the removal of the central refuges in Wester Coates and Roseburn means elderly people will find crossing the road difficult; these areas have high numbers of elderly residents. And the increased traffic halt times required will further increase congestion. The bus stops island will be dangerous for young and old alike.

It is unclear whether the re-alignment at the Roseburn Bar will work, as this is a junction used by HGVs getting into Russell Road/Roseburn Street and used by council vehicles from the Russell Road depot, ScotRail for carriage repair at their Haymarket depot and by football/rugby fans coaches for matches at Murrayfield and Tynecastle.

There is also no mention, except in passing, of the blocking off of Roseburn Place, to which residents have objected.

6. The concerns about the relocation of the taxi rank at Haymarket have not been satisfactorily addressed

7. There is mention of extending the project westwards - presumably along the A8 through Corstorphine. The A8 is already the most congested and polluted road outside London and this will make it worse.

The funding for the scheme has been pulled by Sustrans, so there really is no point in continuing this proposal. While the council tries to lobby the Government for funding for track that only a few evangelists in Spokes and FoE favour, the traders en route must anticipate a future where 50% of loading and customer parking will vanish .

I appeal to our councillors today to elect to spend ratepayers cash on fixing the potholes and pavements instead. The state of the roads are a curse to cyclists like me and an embarrassment for a capital city.

Pete Gregson, Riversdale Grove, Edinburgh

SNP sleight of hand over ‘conversation’

Another of the SNP’s ‘national conversations’ is to be launched this week. This is their condescending way of describing a process whereby they tell us what we think.

Central to this new drive for breaking up the UK will be to reimagine the votes in the EU referendum as though we had compared the benefits of the EU and the UK. We must also turn a blind eye to the economic conditions that are worse now than in 2014 in terms of the consequences of leaving the UK, and the lack of clarity over whether and on what terms the holy grail of Scotland’s future in the EU would ever materialize. The key feature of this ‘conversation’ is that we are supposed to listen and not ask awkward questions. Meanwhile, these same people are supposed to be running our country, but for the leadership of the SNP a good ‘conversation’ is always preferred to dealing with the real responsibilities of government.

Keith Howell, West Linton, Peeblesshire