‘Both sides of 
the street are packed with cars’

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CHAMBERS Street has undergone many transformations over the decades.

A key route through the Old Town, it is home to the award-winning Museum of Scotland as well as the Sheriff Court and University of Edinburgh buildings.

But the most radical change of all could be around the corner, with city chiefs set to debate plans to create a new performance space outside the museum.

Under the plans, a major public plaza would be built in Chambers Street, which museum bosses said would “breathe new life” into the area and provide a stage for outdoor theatre and music. Significantly, it would also result in the loss of 39 parking spaces.

Chambers Street is one of the most handsome thoroughfares in the Capital, but few of us stop to look up and admire the magnificence of the buildings that line both sides.

Both sides of the street, and the centre, are packed with cars and the busy nature of the traffic hardly makes it a place for contemplation.

There is little doubt that the new plans would transform Chambers Street itself and create a fantastic public space outside the popular museum. In essence, it would reclaim the area for families and pedestrians.

It is not difficult to imagine the area being full of people during the science festival or the Fringe. And with the development of the nearby SoCo site set for completion in around a year the whole area would receive a major boost.

The question for councillors is how we balance this ambitious idea with the needs of local businesses, who will not welcome a cut in parking spaces, as well as the potential knock-on effect for city traffic.

Chambers Street has been through many iterations. Perhaps, this change can help restore it as a place for people as well as cars.

Fare deal

If you ever find yourself in Kenny “The Shuffler” Taylor’s cab, it is sure to be a ride you’ll never forget.

The driver has become something of an internet hit with his unique brand of “cab-erat” as he negotiates the Capital’s streets.

Perhaps not to everyone’s taste but it’s all good fun and no doubt Kenny tailors his act carefully depending on who is in the back seat.

Our taxi drivers can often be the first impression visitors have of the city so well done to Kenny for ensuring that his passengers remember the laugh and friendly banter rather than a moan about the trams.