Comment: War of words over roads bill helps no-one

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Our series of articles on Edinburgh’s ruined roads will have left no-one in any doubt as to the challenges facing the city.

The figures we have revealed are eye-watering, none more so than the £260 million bill to carry out all the necessary improvements.

It’s not surprising in the current economic climate that the chances of this being funded entirely by the city council on its own are about as likely as extending the tram line to Fife.

Yet the alternative of leaving the problems to fester will not only cost the Capital dearly but are detrimental to the rest of the country as well.

Edinburgh is the engine of the Scottish economy and the gateway to our country for the majority of visitors.

Taxes raisd in the city are spent solving problems across the country and tourists and business visitors alike form their first impressions of Scotland here.

Does it do Scotland any good for their first impression to be pothole-ridden roads on the way to their hotel?

If we can’t maintain the roads properly in our Capital city, what does that say about the rest of the country?

Edinburgh is of course far from alone in facing severe financial challenges, but many of the pressures we face are unique to the city’s status as Scotland’s Capital and the engine of its economy.

The high cost of living in the Capital, for instance, creates enormous problems in delivering a whole range of public services.

The Scottish Government has recognised the very different problems facing Glasgow and the Clyde Valley with a £500m City Deal. The Capital faces different challenges but there has to be recognition that they are more than just a local problem.

A war of words between the city council and the Scottish Government helps no-one.

It’s time to sit down, work it out and get it sorted.