Comment: Six minutes for 100 metres is ridiculous

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it would be nigh on impossible to sprint down Princes Street at any time of day.

Even if you weren’t laden down with shopping bags, and were as fit as Usain Bolt, there are plenty of obstacles – from passing trams to fellow pedestrians – to slow your progress.

That’s perfectly fine, of course. No-one expects to speed along one of the country’s busiest shopping streets.

But taking six minutes to walk 100 metres through the city centre because the traffic lights take so long to change is simply ridiculous. Most snails probably manage a top speed faster than the two-thirds of a mile an hour that 
represents.

Sure, if you are fleet of foot you could cut that six minutes down quite considerably by nipping across the street during a break in the traffic, rather than waiting for the green man. But not everyone can do that. Some of us are not as quick as we used to be or perhaps have a pushchair or youngsters in tow.

Most of us accept – whether we are walking, catching the bus, or whatever – that we have to share the space available on the roads and pavements with other people. We must all take our turn if we are to complete our daily business and rub along smoothly with each other.

That involves a sometimes tricky balancing act for those who are in charge of our roads.

The impact which the arrival of the trams has had recently on taxis driving through the city centre shows how easy it is for that equilibrium to be thrown. A change in the sequencing of the traffic lights on Princes Street to accommodate the trams meant cabbies were facing endless queues. The answer seems to have been some fine-tuning of the system controlling the lights.

More adjustments appear to be needed. The trams and new traffic arrangements in the city centre were supposed to make it more pedestrian-friendly. Those that are walking must not be forgotten now.