Letters: City is not far away from bad old days of gardyloo

Litter in Edinburgh
Litter in Edinburgh
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On a visit to Edinburgh during December and early January the only thing that really impressed me about the city I was born and bred in was how incredibly dirty it is.

I stayed in Portobello during my visit and although the promenade and beach were very busy, this was spoiled by the amount of litter in the High Street and the dog faeces everywhere. Do they have litter wardens in the city? I suppose it is beneath the police to be seen arresting someone for such a minor incident.

My family come from the Southside and all along the Bridges, Nicolson Street and Clerk Street the story was the same, litter and filth everywhere.

Instead of spending nearly a billion pounds on a tram system that most of the people didn’t want, the council would have been better employed devising a system of rubbish collection to replace the archaic one used at present which, frankly, is one step away from gardyloo.

Does Edinburgh City Council not recognise that people will not return to the city if the authority doesn’t get its act together, or is it of the impression that there are more mugs around the corner?

George Devlin, Poole, Dorset

Action needed to make cycling safe

THE tragic death of another cyclist on the roads of Edinburgh once again highlights just how vulnerable and exposed cyclists are on the open road (News, January 6). Whatever the reason for this latest tragedy, the Scottish Government should take the necessary action to ensure that the risks to cyclists are kept to a minimum even if this means introducing legislation which might prove unpopular with some drivers.

Cycling may be enjoying a boom and its profile might be on the rise, but if the government is serious about promoting it as a viable alternative mode of transport, something has to be done to make the roads safer or I fear cycling will remain the preferred mode of transport for a very small minority.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Independence vote is basic right

THE latest constitutional spat, with Westminster declaring that a Holyrood referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future would be “illegal” flies in the face of both international law and the previous history of referendums in the UK.

The basic principle in international law, which the Unionists in this debate seem to be forgetting, is that a seceding country decides whether it wants to be independent or not, it has a right of national self-determination.

Montenegro did so when it seceded from Serbia in 2006, as did Estonia in 1990 from the USSR.

They did not have to ask permission to do this.

In addition, for the UK Government to ensure that a Scottish referendum should be anything other than advisory is highly unorthodox and would be difficult to justify, given the fact that previous referendums held in the UK have not been legally binding.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Firm decisions yet to be made

CONTRARY to your article on pedestrianising Princes Street on Tuesday, January 10, there are no trials set to take place at the end of the tram works, and this was made clear to your reporter.

The story merely repeats earlier coverage about some of the ideas contained in a report produced by Gehl Architects that looked at ways of improving Princes Street.

Of course, we are going to be considering ways to keep one of Scotland’s most iconic streets attractive to locals and visitors alike. But we have yet to produce any firm proposals, let alone consult with Lothian Buses and others with an important stake in how the city centre is managed.

Cllr Gordon Mackenzie, transport convener

Glad to have my badge rescued

I WOULD like to thank the person who posted my blue disabled badge back to the council when I lost it in the high winds at Fort Kinnaird car park.

Many thanks. You didn’t leave a name, but it meant a great deal to get it back.

Mrs G Riva, Barntongate Avenue, Edinburgh