Nostalgia: Trip down memory lanes

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THEY were seemingly simpler times on the roads of Edinburgh. Cars rolled by at ease, patient drivers at the wheel gliding at a gentle pace, while buses ran like clockwork and before them the clip-clop of horses on the Capital’s cobbles 
sounded a soothing rhythm.

THEY were seemingly simpler times on the roads of Edinburgh. Cars rolled by at ease, patient drivers at the wheel gliding at a gentle pace, while buses ran like clockwork and before them the clip-clop of horses on the Capital’s cobbles sounded a soothing rhythm.

New road markings on Lothian Road in 1957

New road markings on Lothian Road in 1957

Transport networks in the city are something of a fluid art, with motorists often frustrated as new dead ends and diversions pop up on a frequent basis.

But the evidence shows that is not a particularly modern phenomenon, with drivers in 1957 finding new markings in Lothian Road tough to follow. There was so much confusion that police had to issue a statement in the pages the Evening News advising motorists how to get to tackle the new layout. Warnings also had to be sounded in 1970 over changes at the top of Leith Walk where a new roundabout was being constructed.

An article in the News began “ATTENTION ALL DRIVERS” before explaining motorists faced committing an offence if they travelled along Cathedral Lane from west to east.

Six years earlier, drivers in the city centre had been left “shocked” after roundabouts were unexpectedly erected around the George Street

statues.

The News told in November 1964 how road users had widely praised “Edinburgh’s new experimental traffic system”, but those on George Street complained the islands around the statues were too large, while tempers flared as police banned parking while the roundabouts were introduced.

Which all goes to show, things have never been as easy on the roads as Mr Marshall made them look on his penny farthing in 1957.