A big thank you to the hundreds of Evening News readers who wrote in to back our Fare Deal campaign on Edinburgh’s trams.
Today’s announcement that the over-60s will be able to use their concessionary pass to board the trams shows that pressure from readers and a strong campaign from your local newspaper can make a difference.
The decision is a victory for common sense.
The number of buses in west Edinburgh will be reduced when the trams begin operating in summer 2014. Without the change, the over-60s would have been forced to rely on this diminished service or pay the regular tram fare.
This would have introduced a kind of “transport apartheid”, where the elderly were restricted to the buses while those can afford to pay a £1.50 single travelled on the new tram system.
After the major controversy that our tram project has been mired in, the last thing it needs is to be at the centre of ongoing resentment among senior citizens. After all, we were told the trams would be part of an integrated transport solution for the city, not just a top-up service for the better-off.
Every one of us in the Capital has been affected in some way by the tram project. We have been delayed by the construction works, frustrated by the overruns and some businesses have foundered amid the chaos.
So, it is only fair that we are all allowed to share in the benefits of faster travel on this new route.
We should also acknowledge the role of the new city council administration and the Scottish Government who have got their heads together to ensure this impasse will be overcome.
No black marks
The move to cut the red tape surrounding advertising on taxis is a sensible idea.
Certainly, the process for vetting adverts at the moment does seem unnecessarily laborious, especially as the chances of a cab firm wanting an offensive or controversial ad plastered on the side of their vehicles must be slim.
There are of course dangers and it is reassuring that the council will still have the power to order ads are removed when complaints are made – much like the process which works perfectly well for other forms of advertising.
It will need to be closely monitored but if this helps cabbies and cuts the cost to the public purse then it should be supported.