Letters: Taxi rank should have been in the tram plans

Haymarket taxi rank. Pic: Greg Macvean
Haymarket taxi rank. Pic: Greg Macvean
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Having worked the taxi rank at Haymarket for about 15 years I know how busy it can get so I was very disappointed to find out that it is going to be scrapped (News, December 2).

We have a wide range of customers, elderly people with luggage, couples with small children and visitors to the city looking to go to where they are staying.

Are they all going to be forced to cross a busy road to get to the rank on the other side?

Provision of a proper taxi rank should have been made when the planning was being made for the tram.

I would also like to make a suggestion to cyclists travelling west to east and vice versa. A simple solution to be found is north of Haymarket Terrace. A left turn then a pretty straight route along Drumsheugh Gardens, Randolph Crescent, Great Stuart Street, Moray Place then straight on to Broughton Street. No buses, tram lines or heavy traffic.

What’s not to like about this route?

Tom McKearney, Edinburgh

Don’t go to events if you don’t like them

REGARDING “Bah humbug to the joys of the festive season” (Letters, November 30). Many of us enjoy pantomimes and children enjoy joining in the fun.

As for nativity plays, it is lovely to see children act out the true story of Christmas, and it teaches them the real meaning of it.

If George Ritchie hates all these things, he need not go to them.

J Raeburn, Oxgangs Bank, Edinburgh

Pavement bike lane is an idiotic idea

WHAT stupid idiot made the decision to make a cycle path at the bottom of The Mound, on the pavement?

We are trying to keep cyclists off the pavements, not encourage them.

Someone is going to come tearing down The Mound and crash into pedestrians. Read the Highway Code, Cyclists are not allowed on pavements.

P A Thomson, Hutchison Road, Edinburgh

Cheap food for MSPs makes you feel sick

Does it not just make you sick? Holyrood politicians, who I bet could all well afford to pay more, get cheap lunches, subsidised by us of course (News, December 2), while a few miles from Holyrood there are people having to resort to food banks.

Elizabeth Henderson, Whitson Walk, Edinburgh

Anti-smoking group’s claims are suspect

I AGREE with Mike Ridgway’s rejection (Letters, November 28) of Ash Scotland’s denial of risking tobacco smuggling through plain packaging. This is reported as increasing alarmingly in Australia after a year of blank packets. Ash Scotland’s “contribution” to smoking reduction is suspect in both research and claims.

They state that “cigarettes are given pride of place in all our stores” – complete reversal of actuality. Ash’s Sheila Duffy, almost a year before the Australian experiment started, quoted “a large body of evidence” showing that plain packaging would deter people from taking up smoking. Why, then, is the UK government waiting for Australia’s results?

This supposed charity’s funding relies on government grants. With their latest targets – smoking in children’s playgrounds and in cars with children aboard – not identified as problems, I’d say that, like most quangos, Ash Scotland exists merely to exist.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Western General is in excellent shape

I HAVE been a patient at the Western General Hospital for the last four years or so, and have received excellent treatment from all members of staff. I have had a number of stays mainly on the urology wards and some newspaper reports are far removed from my experience.

Indeed I feel the hospital and its ethos should be held up as an exemplar for patient care.

Urology wards are very busy and the nurses often didn’t have time to take their proper breaks. However, they were always cheerful and considerate as appropriate. I witnessed nurses going out of their way to help often very difficult patients.

The food in that hospital was fine, despite the claims of some patients. I witnessed doctors and nurses going out of their way with great patience and understanding to try and ensure that patients ate appropriate meals.

On one occasion they allowed relatives to stay during mealtimes to help encourage an elderly gentleman to eat and to help him feel comfortable.

People need to remember that when patients are in hospital they are often confused, whatever age they may be and nursing staff have to deal with this on a daily basis.

I have witnessed some terrible behaviour from patients, such as refusing to take medication then claiming to relatives that they never got it.

Then there are patients complaining to other patients that they are in pain but not telling the medical staff, then complaining to visitors that the hospital is useless because they didn’t do or say anything about it.

I have witnessed shocking racist and physical abuse of hospital staff whose reaction has been “well, they are ill and can’t help it”.

There are always two sides to any story. My family and I can’t praise the Western General Hospital and the NHS in Edinburgh enough.

Linda Story, Ferry Road, Edinburgh