Leaders: ‘It is an idea that is worth exploring’

0
Have your say

IT is certainly a tough sales pitch for whoever leads the hunt for investors.

Well, it’s a major transport-related project in Edinburgh, and it involves digging up a large part of the city centre . . .

But the idea of building a huge underground car park beneath George Street actually has a lot going for it.

Forget for just a moment any doubts about how it might get built, and imagine what it would be like to use.

We have grown so used to the convenience of out-of-town shopping centres – where we can be sure of finding a parking space right at the door of our favourite stores – that even a multi-storey five minutes from the shops feels at least a little out of the way.

This would be a chance for the city centre to compete head-on in terms of convenience for the first time.

OK, you would have to pay – and presumably pretty steeply – to use a car park like that, but plenty of us would be prepared to cough up, as long as the cost was not 
astronomical.

Creating potentially hundreds of spaces close to the West End would also beautifully balance the pulling power that the redeveloped St James Centre promises to bring to the other end of the New Town in years to come.

There are clearly many, many issues that need to be settled before you could even think about sending in the diggers.

The building costs are so huge that it would need vast amounts of private finance and the trams have shown how disruptive digging under the city’s streets can be.

It may ironically seem like pie in the sky, but the idea of an underground car park in the city centre has got to be worth exploring.

Right track

The new artwork planned as part of the revamped Haymarket station is a really exciting project.

The 140ft “urban mural” will be a real talking point in an area which, let’s face it, could certainly use some brightening-up following the 
disruption.

When the tram finally arrives, Haymarket will hopefully become a vibrant hub and the entrance point for many arriving in the 
city.

Hats off to Network Rail for coming up with the idea. We look forward to the grand unveiling in the coming weeks.

Let’s just hope that passengers won’t have to spend too long gazing at the artwork while waiting for their trains.