Comment: Edinburgh Christmas expensive for family

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The song says: “It’s Christmas time there’s no need to be afraid.” Or is there?

Edinburgh’s city centre Christmas celebrations look fantastic. An ice rink right on Princes Street, the Star Flyer, which is nearly 60 metres high, the giant Ferris Wheel with pods for six people and the Christmas Maze. Add in the new markets and special festive shows and there is surely something for everyone.

There will even be an (empty!) Edinburgh Tram quietly testing the track to whet the appetite.

The only quibble is over the pricing. Is £8 too much for the Big Wheel? Is the Star Flyer overpriced at £7.50? Probably not.

But for a family of four the whole event starts to look very expensive. And once you’re there it’s difficult to tell one child they can’t go on a ride or explain to both that you can’t afford to go ice skating.

Some families will be unconcerned at the prices. But there are many across Edinburgh and the Lothians who are struggling to make ends meet. This is not only a commercial event, it is the official seasonal celebrations of Scotland’s Capital, supported by the city council. And we must ensure that everyone feels welcome.

Stay in budget

THE revelation that there is just £1 million left in the kitty to meet any unexpected costs on the tram project will inevitably cause some nervousness.

The trams are not due to start running until May next year, so there is still scope for problems to arise. And the long and sorry history of Edinburgh’s tram scheme will make many fear the worst.

But those in charge say they are confident they can stick to the £776 price, and the current administration should be given the benefit of the doubt. The project is still within budget at the moment and it must stay that way. That’s the target everyone will be striving to achieve.