‘Authorities have a duty to look at this’

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It is a sorry state of affairs when nurses cannot tend to their patients without worrying what deliberate damage might be done to their car while they are on the ward.

But that is the situation at the Western General, where anger among some local residents is being blamed for a spate of vandal attacks on medical staff cars.

The long-standing problem of overspill parking from the Western clogging up the surrounding streets has rocketed since the Scottish Government scrapped hospital parking charges.

For all the good intentions of that ban, the result in this instance was entirely predictable and, sadly, it is the nursing staff who are bearing the brunt of the problem – as well as the long-suffering residents.

It is hard to see what nurses can possibly do to avoid friction with residents, faced with working shifts around the clock, no staff car park pass, a limited bus service and wages that do not stretch to endless taxi trips.

Equally, while the vandalism is deplorable, it is easy to sympathise with frustrated residents who cannot find parking spaces near their own homes.

It is impossible to imagine the government backtracking on its parking charge ban, and that probably isn’t the answer anyway.

The council seems ready to lay new yellow lines and this might help. Perhaps at the same time the health board should look at whether it can cut back on any parking passes it issues to senior managers.

Whatever happens, the council, NHS Lothian and the Scottish Government share a duty to find a sensible solution.

Hard-working nurses and put-upon residents must not be left to deal with this mess on their own.

Another tram mess

Get ready for blood temperatures to soar to new levels around Leith Walk in the coming weeks.

Residents and businesses have already endured months of roadworks misery for a tram line that they now know will not pass their door any time soon – and may never do so at all.

Now those traders who survived that chaos will have to look out on more traffic disruption as temporary road repairs are “fixed” on the mothballed part of the route.

To add insult to injury, it is going to cost council taxpayers another £3.4 million as more money is swallowed up by this bungled project.

It is enough to send anyone’s blood to boiling point.