Letters: Patients are forgotten in parking at health centre

Westside Plaza, 'Wester Hailes'. Picture: Dan Phillips
Westside Plaza, 'Wester Hailes'. Picture: Dan Phillips
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Having visited the new Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre on the day it opened, it is indeed a very nice building (News, August 21).

However, prior to my visit as a patient I asked about parking and was told that patients, unless they have a disabled sticker, have to use the Westside Plaza car park and come through the underpass. To get to the centre by this means, you have to go down a flight of stairs. There is no ramp for prams or wheelchairs.

For sale signs. Picture: Rob McDougall

For sale signs. Picture: Rob McDougall

There is at the front of the centre a large car park which at 9.20am was full of what were obviously staff cars.

This centre and its facilities are for sick people, many of whom will not be able to climb the stairs at the underpass. Alternatively, if you use the road down from Westside Plaza you have to climb back up a hill.

I think NHS Lothian should put out a directive that at least 50 per cent of the car park must be for patients, not staff.

In addition, there does not seem to be a pharmacy in the health centre. Surely this should have been a basic requirement.

W Wilson, Edinburgh

Designer should have taken a rain check

Having viewed the tram shelters that have been erected, I have come to the conclusion that the designer must be the same person who designed the temporary roof for the ill-fated tennis tournament that was held at Raeburn Place.

They obviously never took into account horizontal rain which caused all the problems at the tennis tournament. I feel sorry for anyone hoping to stay dry waiting for a tram.

On another subject, the proposed two-hour free parking on Sundays seems a very short time to do any shopping and return to your car.

I assume that you will no longer be allowed to park on a single yellow line on a Sunday as it is at present, otherwise it would defeat the two-hour 
restriction.

This in itself will drastically reduce the number of cars that are accommodated at present and to some extent will defeat the purpose of trying to encourage extra shoppers.

John M Tulloch, Duddingston Park South, Edinburgh

Trams must replicate bus running times

If the tram is to replace the existing excellent airport bus service, it must match the current running times and start at 4am as the bus does, and not 5am as is currently proposed.

Many flights depart from Edinburgh Airport at 6.30am or 7am and demand a two-hour check-in period. If the tram does not leave St Andrew Square until 5am, this will create a huge problem for many travellers and air crew who have to get to the airport before 5.30am and who would therefore need to use alternative means of transport, defeating the object entirely.

Could the trams’ running times be reconsidered?

Helena Steedman, Edinburgh

Level heads will help balance the market

The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that mortgage lending has increased by a third year on year and that it is the strongest month in almost five years.

While this report shows that some confidence is returning to the market, it is worth bearing in mind that much of the increase in mortgage approvals is down to government-backed schemes. These initiatives are generally in place to help first-time buyers and encourage the construction industry to build new developments.

This is indeed good news for the housing market but there are local market variations and it is important to bear in mind that we are still far from the halcyon days of the housing boom.

The picture is improving, but we must be careful not to give too much hype to the situation. There are still economic uncertainties for many, and a cautious approach should be taken to avoid the events of recent years.

So, we should remember that buying a new home is the biggest purchase we as individuals will possibly ever make. We should be armed with the facts, take into account good local market intelligence and ensure that we are level-headed in our approach to house buying and selling.

Matthew Gray, property director, Pagan Osborne, Edinburgh

Make waste pick-up an overnight success

One thing Councillor Hinds’ letter about waste collection (August 22) does not make clear is the number of hours worked in a 24-hour period.

If no waste is collected overnight then all the machinery lies idle for one third of the time. In London the City of Westminster operates over 24 hours.

D R Watt, Bellevue Place, Edinburgh

We must put a stop to all immigration

There has been much comment on the latest UK population statistics. There is another important but hidden aspect to this – unsustainable immigration. The Labour Party deliberately opened the floodgates to immigrants from all over the world.

The result was a housing shortage since nearly half a million immigrants have been given taxpayer-funded homes between 2001 and 2011. There are now 1.2 million foreigners living in social housing properties.

The think-tank Migrationwatch reported that 65,000 new houses need to be built every year specifically to house immigrant families.

The other excuse for unfettered immigration was that it was needed to pay for our pensions. However this excuse was totally discredited by both the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee and the UN World Economics Social Survey Report.

We now need to stop all immigration, especially those whose aim is a life on welfare paid for by us.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow