Letters: Are buses being squeezed out by the trams project?

The width of the road at Shandwick Place has raised concerns about travelling by bus

The width of the road at Shandwick Place has raised concerns about travelling by bus

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Having recently viewed the tram works on Shandwick Place, I could not believe my eyes at what has been done to the road width as it approaches the West End.

The kerb tapers out to reduce the road width for buses to approximately one metre from the edge of the left-hand tram rail.

If buses are to continue from Shandwick Place direct to Princes Street they will have to straddle the whole width of the tram line and the one metre width of road to get through – the alternative being that buses will no longer connect direct to Princes Street.

A similar problem is at the junction of Princes Street where the trams turn into South St Andrew Street. The pavement has been extended out so far that at this junction where the present road is wide enough for two buses this has been reduced to one bus width which will cause further congestion and tail backs on Princes Street.

Is this part of a plan to cause so much congestion that the buses will have to be rerouted from Princes Street on to George Street or Queen Street?

John M Tulloch, Duddingston Park South, Edinburgh

Tories carrying the mark of Cain

David Cameron has pledged to defend the Falklands if Argentina threatens its sovereignty again, so I suppose we’d better send the One o’Clock Gun south to Westminster, because they have damn all else left to defend the islands with.

They have scrapped the Nimrod reconnaissance replacement so we’ll have no early warning of hostile Argentine moves, have no aircraft carrier, and even if we had, have no aircraft to fly from them.

A fifth of our soldiers are being sacked. The principal task of a government is to defend its citizens and their interests. No government, since the appeasers of the 1930s, has betrayed the British people as comprehensively in this area as the current coalition. The Westminster Tories carry the mark of Cain – the Liberals must crash this coalition now if there is to be anything left of Britain not sold, given away or stolen by 2015: we desperately need new leaders.

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Views of Greens now mainstream

Alas for Otto Inglis (Letters, January 3) the evidence is that Greens are winning the arguments.

Views that were sneered at 25 years ago are now accepted by the vast majority of scientific opinion as mainstream – on transport, energy management, waste treatment and husbandry of natural resources, to name only a few. If policy-makers had been swifter off the mark then we would have ceded fewer jobs and investment to Denmark or Germany in the meantime.

Personally, however, I rarely play the “climate-change” card in arguments. That is because I believe that a low carbon future is also one to which many people aspire for other reasons anyway: neighbourhoods with decentralised services; warm dry homes; cities built around people, not choked by cars; communities where local food producers and retailers flourish. It is low carbon but high-tech. That vision has growing public support. The urgent task is now to ensure that the policy consensus results in actual change, where currently there is often procrastination and contradiction.

Gavin Corbett, Green councillor, for Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart

Gaelic education is not for the few

Contrary to Graeme Foley’s letter (January 2), Gaelic-medium education is not only for the “chosen few”.

Gaelic education is open to all families who wish for a bilingual education for their children.

Many Edinburgh schools restrict entrance based on the ability to pay fees, or to purchase a house in a particular catchment area.

Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce when it opens its doors in August 2013 will have as its catchment the whole of Edinburgh, and will offer an excellent Gaelic immersion education to all regardless of circumstance.

The costs of refurbishing the school building at Bonnington are largely being met through Scottish Government funding from the Gaelic Schools Fund – Edinburgh City Council has gained a new school at a bargain price for the city.

Marion Thompson, Netherbank, Edinburgh