Letters: French lesson shows how to protect our city centre

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Have your say

REGARDING your story “Installation of tram cables set to begin at Picardy Place”, (News,
 June 8), I was recently in Bordeaux, another World Heritage City, but one with a fully functioning tram system

However, while the Bordeaux trams get power from overhead cables outwith the city centre, in the centre they get power from a central rail located between the tracks (not exposed to the public), so avoiding the need for overhead cables. This system was a world first!

Why is Edinburgh not required to protect its historic centre in the same way?

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh

More help is needed at railway station

LAST Thursday, I drove my mother in my taxi to Waverley for the 11:30 train to Kings Cross. I had to go to New Street car park as you only get five minutes’ waiting time in the Market Street drop-off.

My mum was travelling on her own so I wanted to settle her in the carriage seat on the train, that’s why I needed the extra time.

I couldn’t find a parking space so left my taxi safely enough on yellow chevrons against a wall, making sure other drivers could pass freely. We walked to a lift which we took to the floor for the station.

I estimated from where we started walking to the train for Kings Cross, must have been 300 yards.

My mum is riddled with arthritis affecting her knee, hip and back, so we had to stop four times. Luckily, I had arrived at 11:05 so I wasn’t late, arriving at platform 2 at 11:22.

Network Rail should have an employee at the start of the car park when their customers get out of lift and give anybody that needs assistance a helping hand. A wheelchair would solve the problem.

My 85-year-old mum started her journey in tears.

Come on Network Rail, it ain’t rocket science.

Ian Marinello, Prospect Bank Place, Edinburgh

Work together to find solution

I APPRECIATED the picture of my skull in Friday’s News, alongside one of Moby’s skull in the National Museum. It was of me taking down a poster, not putting one up.

I was rightly accused of “over-enthusiasm” for having improperly fixed A3 posters to the windows of three closed shops in Raeburn Place, as well as having properly provided posters to more than 25 traders in the street. They were all anxious about the threat to the health of the Raeburn Place “high street” posed by the proposal to develop new, probably larger, shops on the playing fields fronting Comely Bank Road. At a time when the closure of shops and the decline of traditional high streets are in the news, their anxiety is understandable and widely shared.

The many of us in the Stockbridge, Comely Bank and Inverleith communities who oppose the Accies’ development of these shops, as well as a clubhouse much larger than its predecessor with bar, cafe, function rooms, museum and a stadium, have every reason to be anxious. This development will change our streets, our lives and the views in and out of Inverleith Park, in predictable and unpredictable ways. They will, undoubtedly, in our opinion, “spoil Stockbridge”.

The real irony of the situation is that our passion for our community encompasses concern for the future of the playing fields at Raeburn Place and The Grange. The historic Academicals and Grange clubs are an important part of our community. We all wish to ensure the future of rugby at Raeburn Place. I pledge that, if this profoundly damaging proposal is refused, as we hope, I and others will do all we can to work with the Accies to bring forward other ideas for a solution which can be achieved with the consent and support of the whole community. The current proposal is not the only way.

I regret my poster-fixing, but not my belief that a really good solution to the future of the historic Raeburn Place rugby ground will only be possible when consent for this most unfortunate proposal has been refused.

James Simpson, Raeburn Place, Edinburgh

Employers should look after job checks

If I was a council employee, especially one with many years of loyal service, and was being asked to fork out for a retrospective criminal background check (News, June 7) I would be well miffed to say the least.

Depending on the type of employment the necessary checks should be made before any offer of employment is made but surely this is the responsibility of the employer.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Is Labour hoping to join Tories in power?

Brian Monteith (Labour’s talking Eds are full of double standards, News June 7) is right, as Labour’s answer to Tory cuts is to impose more cuts for years to come.

Ed Miliband’s plans to keep the Tory cuts to welfare benefits for those in difficult circumstances and maintain the Bedroom Tax, which is designed to solve a problem in London but is hitting the poorest in Edinburgh, is even worse than Gordon Brown’s doubling of the 10p tax rate for the lowest-paid workers.

Their plans to means-test child benefits and winter fuel allowances with corresponding threats to free prescriptions, pensioners free bus travel and free TV licences are a betrayal of Labour’s traditional values.

Ed Balls’ suggestion that housing benefit will be increased for those living in London but reduced for those in Scotland may play well in the south of England but it is suicidal north of the Border.

Is Labour planning to replace the Lib Dems as the Tory government’s next coalition partner?

Janice Thompson, Walter Scott Avenue, Edinburgh