Comment: ‘City chiefs are right to explore technology’

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Council chiefs are absolutely right to explore how the latest developments in technology offer ways to make life in the city easier, more efficient and less expensive. So on these grounds the pilot scheme to replace traditional parking meters with a cashless system are to be welcomed.

It would be foolish not to look into the possibilities of changes which could make life easier for an increasingly tech-savvy population and save money by removing the routine of collecting money from thousands of machines across the city.

However, a switch from using coins to paying electronically will inevitably be less welcome for those who do not feel comfortable with the technology.

Any move to cashless parking charges has to be at a pace which allows even the slowest of us to get used to it. The current machines must not be phased out until people feel far more confident in the new system than they do just now.

Give us a break

Today we have news of a new charge at Edinburgh Airport – not for passengers directly but still potentially worrying.

Shuttle buses from car parks are to be charged £5 a time to enter the airport. You might think that car park bosses can well afford that, so what’s the problem?

The fear is firstly that the cost will inevitably be passed on to the consumer and secondly that once a charge like this is introduced, it is easy to quietly increase.

Creeping charges, like the unfair kiss and fly tax which charges motorists £1 to drop off loved ones at the terminal, are not just annoying, they could ultimately prove damaging to the airport and the city as a whole.

We understand that running such a successful airport does not come cheap. But when passengers are already charged a premium for their pre-flight panini, surely we deserve a break?