Leader: ‘This is the last thing that business needs’

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THE strength of feeling against plans to introduce Sunday car parking charges in Edinburgh demonstrates why this proposal should go no further.

It is clearly the last thing hard-pressed city centre businesses need as they battle to recover from years of tram-related disruption.

They point out that Sunday is currently the only day they can compete on a level playing field with out-of-town shopping centres which have the luxury of acres of unrestricted 
parking.

And today we report how parishoners from St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral have also joined the call to ditch the plan in the official consultation on the city’s transport 
strategy.

The reaction to the scheme is perhaps not surprising but it is no less valid. The city centre needs a break and a leg-up, not another reason to drive shoppers away.

The council and Essential Edinburgh are already doing much to support the high street and retailers, and introducing charges would be counter to those efforts.

That is not to say the provision of parking in the city centre does not need to be examined but, if anything, you would hope that would lead to charging being scaled back to encourage people into the city 
centre.

Many elements of the transport strategy make perfect sense of course, including the moves to improve safety outside schools. They should be supported when the plan goes back before councillors to be discussed in August.

Other elements, including the parking charge proposal, should go no further.

The council has carried out a consultation, and now it must listen. Keep Sunday free.

Livelihoods at risk

NEWS that the Lothians are being flooded with “high-quality” fake £20 notes should be a matter of concern for everyone.

Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime. It’s bad enough for an individual who has unknowingly accepted a counterfeit note to have his money refused, but for shopkeepers and other small businesses the fakes present even more of a problem.

If a trader cashing up at the end of the day and taking his hard-earned cash to the bank discovers he has one or more of the fake notes, he is losing out significantly.

The fact the gang behind the current scam is coating the fake notes with hairspray makes it harder for people to check whether they are genuine. In the present economic climate, this crime could help put people out of business.