Adam McVey needs better justification for inflicting ‘pain’ on Edinburgh – John McLellan

How will Edinburgh council’s plan to remove cars from most central streets and prioritise walking and cycling help preserve biodiversity in Madagascar, wonders John McLellan.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 30th May 2019, 7:00 am
Adam McVey's plans do not address the inevitable disruption to public transport. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Meet ma frien’ paaaaiiin… He might not quite be Edinburgh’s Mr T, but council leader Adam McVey took to the pages of the Evening News this week to explain why he needs to inflict pain on all of us.

Writing about the City Centre Transformation project to remove cars from most streets and prioritise walking and cycling, he said, “Creating a design that helps reduce our overall carbon output… will take change, it will take collaboration and it will take some pain.”

Ouch. But what pain and for how long? At least he was honest enough to admit that pain will be a consequence of his administration’s plans, but where it really falls apart is his demand that “this is all for the survival of ecosystems around the globe that are on the brink of collapse”.

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Edinburgh is racing against Glasgow to be UK’s first zero-carbon city – Adam McV...

Limiting car use is, to borrow a cliché, the general direction of travel for most historic city centres, but what if those cars are pollution-free? As vehicles and energy production become increasingly clean and sustainable, what difference will widespread inconvenience make to the number of insects in the Amazon?

The City Centre Transformation plan has as yet not addressed the inevitable disruption to public transport so how will gridlock along London Road or up through Bruntsfield preserve biodiversity in Madagascar?

Tackling congestion and making the historic core a better place are laudable aims, so spare us the Greta Thunberg rhetoric and deliver workable plans and maybe then we’ll understand what the pain is all about.