Comment: A cleaner and safer city for all

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IT sounds obvious, but in practice it is rarely applied: put pedestrians first.

This is the mantra in a new Edinburgh City Council document that aims to put pedestrians – and cyclists – at the forefront of new planning guidelines for Scotland’s Capital.

The idea is that how we walk around our public spaces will be at the forefront of decision-making, instead of simply deferring to the needs of car drivers.

This makes sense in several respects.

Firstly, when we think of the beauty of Edinburgh most of us imagine walking through the city. We are looking up at the Castle, strolling through the Grassmarket or gazing down the Royal Mile. We are not in a car looking out through glass. So, the more we can do to enhance the experience of the pedestrian, the more we can benefit the key strengths that set the city apart from other destinations.

Secondly, we are all pedestrians. The division between car drivers and pedestrians is odd, as we all have to park our cars and then walk to our final destination. So, putting pedestrians first will benefit every one of us.

And finally, putting pedestrians first will mean a cleaner and safer city for all of us.

We look forward to seeing how this blueprint develops.

Ship ahoy

Could HMS Edinburgh become a major new tourist attraction for Leith and for Edinburgh? There are examples elsewhere in the world where this has worked and also examples where it has flopped. But what is certain is this is an idea worth exploring.

Well done to Sir Tom Farmer for helping to fund a feasibility study that will help the council and Ocean Terminal take a decision on the future of the warship, and to Lord Provost Donald Wilson for continuing to push the idea.