Letters: Chaotic Waverley access is embarrassment to city

Passengers have a hard time reaching their platforms. Picture: Greg Macvean
Passengers have a hard time reaching their platforms. Picture: Greg Macvean
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The access arrangements to Waverley Station from Waverley Bridge have to be seen to be believed.

It is simply impossible to imagine any other European capital city organising, for all passengers, such chaos and difficulty in reaching the platform with their luggage.

We who live in Edinburgh are lucky. We know there is another entrance on East Market Street. It’s not particularly easy if I want to take my bike on the train or to the bike parking, but it certainly beats Waverley Bridge where bike access was, for a brief period, so sensible that I thought I must be in the Netherlands.

Now most visitors to Edinburgh with wheels of any kinds – wheelchairs, baby buggies, wheeled suitcases, bicycles – are herded on to a ramp that would be more suitable for separating animals heading for the slaughterhouse, than welcoming visitors or residents to the Edinburgh railway station.

Is the chorus of disapproval and plea for common sense from every resident, councillor and MSP of our city to be totally ignored?

Are the floods of visitors coming for the festivals to think we have lost our senses?

Eileen Holttum, Melville Terrace, Edinburgh

Why throw away our shared heritage?

I lived for many years in Belgium and have moved to Scotland in the past year.

In Belgium, there have been long-running disagreements between the Flemish speaking part of the country and the French (Walloon) speaking part. Our house was in a Flemish village but our garden backed on to the next French speaking village. There was a big difference between the two communities and they often wouldn’t speak to each other.

I had hoped that by coming back to Scotland we could get over the constant bickering between communities. I am sadly disappointed that, in spite of speaking the same language here and sharing a heritage that goes back over centuries, similar things are happening.

What do the separatists want? Can’t we settle our differences and live amicably together as part of the UK?

Patricia Baillie Strong, Regent Terrace, Edinburgh

Glasgow deserves our support during Games

I know that the powers that be in Edinburgh may be miffed by the attention that Glasgow is getting because of the Commonwealth Games, but was their response, by surrounding the Commie Pool with two-metre wire fences and security guards – and giving it an aspect more like an illegal immigrant detention centre than a venue for world class diving – really appropriate? Is this a way to support Scotland’s true first city in its moment in the sun? Surely we could have done better for Glasgow than that?

David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Economic benefits of HS2 outweigh costs

As a business group we noticed with interest that the proposed high-speed rail link will, according to the UK Government, give a £3 billion economic boost to Scotland by bringing it closer to England’s main cities (News, July 25).

While this is to be welcomed, Scotland needs better than this and indeed recent reports from the UK Government have cited plans to build a third high-speed rail link between Northern English cities, but with no mention of Scotland or its cities.

In our recent Scotland Means Business report on Infrastructure, Delivering Firm Foundations for the Future, we called for an extension of the high-speed rail link (HS2) to Scotland, noting that the rest of the UK is an important market for Scottish firms and that Scotland is the second largest export market for the rest of UK firms, after the United States.

In this context the development of HS2 rail links would improve transport links with the rest of the UK and deliver significant economic benefits whether Scotland is independent or not. The majority of these wider economic impacts will be delivered when HS2 moves into phase two, north of Birmingham. However, the planning of the project has assumed that the construction will start in London. Consideration should be given to also constructing connecting high speed services from Scotland. This would improve transport connections between Scotland and Northern English cities as well as with London.

Delivering HS2 rail links to Scotland is not only good for Scotland, but also for the rest of the UK and the economic benefits of extending this north of the border more than outweigh the costs.

Graeme Blackett, N-56, George Street, Edinburgh

Games ‘togetherness’ is good for No camp

Although there should be no place for politics in sport, the Better Together campaign must be rubbing its hands in glee at the way the Commonwealth Games are panning out.

The rivalry, albeit friendly rivalry between Scotland and England, appears to have been taken to new levels and this must be the sweetest of music to the ears of those who want to see the Union remain intact.

Scotland has certainly had its “Braveheart” moments but I suspect the power of love and togetherness will carry the day!

Angus McGregor, Edinburgh

Lights keep pedestrians waiting far too long

It’s not just the trams that are held for eons at the lights.

Try crossing at Clifton Terrace at Haymarket railway station exit. You could have travelled on the later train from Glasgow before the lights change. Co-ordinated tram/pedestrain. Humbug!

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh