Comment: Christmas must give back to residents

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It seems strange to be thinking about Christmas before the festival fireworks, never mind Bonfire Night.

But there is good news for anyone who thought they’d better start saving now to go on anything at Edinburgh’s Christmas this year.

After the controversy of last year, family discounts are set to be offered for city residents for the rides while new cheaper attractions may also be appearing this year.

The company operating the festivities, Underbelly, deserves praise for listening to the criticism and responding.

We never had an issue with the offering last year and indeed it was in the main far superior to previous years. Our only problem was how local families were being priced out of the fun.

With a ride lasting a matter of minutes, it was not really an option to only do one attraction, and with nagging children in tow, the costs soon mounted up. If you decided to eat at one of the stalls, never mind treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine or a beer, the bill may have left you feeling anything but festive.

Today we have a raft of impressive figures which show how many people flocked to the city centre nonetheless, and how many went on the various rides.

It proves the organisers certainly got something right in cashing in on the tourist pound at least.

What must happen now and in the future is a move to give something back to Capital residents and we eagerly await details of the discounts which will be offered, even if ticket prices are ultimately going to remain at the same level.

Edinburgh’s Christmas is a time to set the tills ringing and for city centre businesses to enjoy a tourism boom.

But it is also a special time for local families to go out and enjoy the atmosphere in their city.

To be able to do this without spending a small fortune would make it a very merry Christmas all round.