‘It smacks of running away from problem’

After five years of tram works, not to mention seemingly endless utility repairs, who wouldn’t want a little respite from the chaos on our roads?

The appeal of Labour’s pledge to put a halt to major transport projects in the Capital for two years, including widespread changes to the city-centre road network, is obvious.

The idea of two years without so many roadwork-induced traffic jams will have motorists rubbing their hands with glee.

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All those hard-pressed traders who only just survived the trams disruption on their doorsteps will also be delighted – or will they?

The reality is slightly different. Many businesses around the West End and Tollcross are already looking forward to the better shopping environment that the proposed changes would bring.

Others will be keen to see proposed safer cycling routes created as quickly as possible.

No-one wants to plunge straight into yet more major upheaval on the roads in the city centre, but officials have already made clear that these changes would be best introduced one at a time, through a series of small pilot projects.

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In that case, why delay? The key here is to ensure that the project is well-managed rather than needlessly delayed.

It is unusual for a political party to make an election pledge not to do something rather than to do something.

In this case, it smacks of running away from a problem rather than solving it – a little like the hands-off approach adopted by the SNP to the city’s trams.

Come the local elections in May, it is those politicians who show they are ready to take the tough decisions who will get most credit from voters.

Material concerns

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It IS highly unlikely that the first ever concert by Madonna in Scotland would have been derailed by objections from residents close to Murrayfield Stadium. After all, an estimated £5 million boost to the economy in a downturn is hard to ignore.

However, news that Edinburgh City Council has failed to hear the concerns of locals is disappointing.

After all, the families who live close to the stadium are the ones who have to put up with the additional noise and disruption. Remember the Oasis concert?

The council should have, at least, heard what they had to say before politely saying that the economic benefits outweigh these concerns. She is the Material Girl, after all.