Letters: Edinburgh’s version of the Highway Code

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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Back in Edinburgh again, to catch up on changes to the Highway Code. Interesting to see that the Queensferry Road ‘overtaking on the inside’ experiment, has now been adopted for all roads. The narrower the road, the higher the speed that this manoeuvre should be.

Giving way to others has been abolished altogether. This removes misunderstanding and breeds character.

Distance between moving cars has been reduced from one yard to one foot, which makes sense to save road space, and at any traffic light or obstruction, the staggered single line queue is now compulsory.

Parking restrictions such as double yellow lines do not apply if hazard warning lights are used.

My cross-town journey from Morningside was delayed while a Mini was removed from a pothole in Viewforth, but I was pleased to be in time for a crater naming ceremony in Queen Street.

I was also in town for a dental ­appointment, and took the opportunity to have some fillings loosened by road vibration put back.

Up to date again!

Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood, Kinross.

Sturgeon stifles debate? I hope Ian can see irony

How ironic that on the very day Ian Murray claimed that the SNP doesn’t allow its politicians to disagree with Nicola Sturgeon (News Comment, 8 March), the Scottish leadership of the Labour Party blocked a conference ­debate and vote on the EU single market.

Brexit will hit Edinburgh more than London yet the Tories rubbished the Scottish Government’s analysis of the damage it will do to our economy and the UK Government’s own assessment showed a hard Brexit would hit Scotland’s economic growth by 9 per cent.

The Tories’ Westminster power grab of devolved powers forgets that everything not specifically reserved to Westminster, originally under Section 5 of the 1998 Scotland Act, is automatically devolved to Holyrood.

There would be no need for the Scottish Government’s Continuity Bill if the UK Government hadn’t rammed through the UK Withdrawal Bill in the House of Commons in three days without producing or accepting a single amendment to protect any of the existing Holyrood powers.

The Presiding Officer in Wales deemed their similar Continuity Bill was competent and the Welsh Tories even supported the Bill, displaying more backbone than their Scottish counterparts.

The EU is not perfect but the EU stopped overfishing, supported our farmers well beyond anything the UK Government provided, greatly ­improved workers rights, health and safety regulations and food safety.

All these hard-won results will be ­sacrificed in a Tory deregulated ­utopia including a Trump trade deal that threatens Scotland’s NHS, plus our valuable food and drinks industries, without any say from the Scottish ­Parliament.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh.

SNP sabre-rattling over EU no help

Wouldn’t it be lovely if, just for once, the Scottish Government stopped ­behaving like a permanent opposition to the government of the UK and co-operated with it to make the best of Brexit? It would be in all our interests.

Accusations of a ‘power grab’ and (Mike Russell) ‘discourtesy’ do nothing to achieve a good deal, and the sabre-rattling of legislation in the Scottish parliament sets up confrontation to no sensible purpose.

The SNP doesn’t want the UK to achieve a successful Brexit deal, imagining that a poor deal would ­further its only interest – separation from the UK.

Jill Stephenson, Glenlockhart Valley Edinburgh.

Tourist tax could aid council funding cuts

The SNP Scottish Government fought long and hard to secure powers over taxation. It is disappointing to see them prioritising the abolition of air passenger duty over introducing legislation allowing councils to impose a tourist tax.

Tourism in Scotland is booming. ­Airports report record business. The fall in the pound as a result of Brexit has seen a substantial rise in the number of visitors from overseas.

But local communities and public services need to be supported to ensure Scotland’s tourist industry continues to flourish. This is not happening, principally because the SNP Scottish Government have cut local authority funding.

A tourist tax exists in many cities and countries across the world and it produces significant sums which are ploughed back. A bed levy of £2 a night could let councils raise tens of millions of pounds. Given the amounts involved, I cannot see how this could possibly damage the tourist industry.

Councils across Scotland are struggling with their finances; the SNP Scottish Government could and should alleviate these problems by legislating for a tourist tax as soon as possible.

William Harris, Lygon Road, Edinburgh.

Painting the wrong picture of Pinkhill

I was extremely disappointed by the artist’s impression of the planned building development at Pinkhill Park in the Evening News.

It was not a true picture as it has been angled only to benefit the proposed Dandara new building. From the other side it would have shown what it will do, by going up six floors, to the houses in Traquair and one of the other block of flats.

This area is really troubled with ­traffic problems and to build another 75 flats in that small area will create further havoc.

Edinburgh Planning Department must start listening to local people, otherwise they are going to destroy a really lovely neighbourhood and skyline.

Margaret Kinnear, Pinkhill, Edinburgh.