Letters: Albany Street diversion was turn in the wrong direction

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So, the council’s having to carry out emergency repairs on Albany Street less than a fortnight after the tram diversions started (A hole lot of trouble, News, July 27). What a surprise.

Surely it should have been obvious to even the most junior of transport planners that sending tens of thousands of extra cars and trucks down small, residential streets would wreak havoc.

These roads were built at a time when the heaviest cargo rolling across their cobbles was likely to be a hansom cab hauling another overfed merchant back to his home.

They weren’t designed to cope with the weight of 21st-century vehicles, nor were they intended to act as an arterial route through the city centre. You only need to look at the condition of any of the main routes in and out of the city to realise the impact of constant, heavy traffic.

For the council to think that these streets could put up with 18 months of this abuse is naive at best. If this volume of traffic is allowed to carry on using these already crumbling streets, the outcome is obvious – more and bigger roadworks which themselves will require more and more complicated diversions.

The solution is one that has been staring the council in the face since day one – reopen Princes Street. It served as the main east-west route through the city for many years and having just been relaid should be far more able to cope with the traffic than the old back streets of the New Town.

R Duke, Dalry Road

We’re not all trading unfairly

I READ with disgust Michael Levack’s letter (July 25) regarding non-VAT tradesmen taking cash from customers.

I am in the building trade and have been trading with the public for more than 20 years in Edinburgh. I am a sole trader and I don’t earn enough to qualify to charge for VAT, for which you have to turn over roughly £60,000 a year. Does that make me a cowboy? I don’t think so.

There is nothing wrong with dealing in cash. Supermarkets, taxi drivers, restaurants, etc, all deal in cash so why is he singling out tradesmen?

Where there’s a problem is when that individual doesn’t declare their earnings to the tax man. For the UK exchequer secretary David Gauke to describe paying tradesmen in cash as “morally wrong” (which Michael Levack agrees with) is out of order and they should think again.

Graeme Cornwall, Newtongrange

Cairns assault 
‘was monstrous’

Catholic clergyman Philip Tartaglia’s assault on the memory of MP David Cairns is naïve and monstrous and should not have been given airtime.

This from a man whose own doctrine forbids him having any sexual outlet of his own, whose religion worships the unsettling and prurient image of a tortured naked man and who belongs to a sect which in the case of some individuals has turned its twisted sexuality upon the children in its care.

Should they not be the very last people to be consulted on sexual morality?

Neil Barber, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh