Comment: Pedestrians have received a raw deal

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DRIVING through Edinburgh has never been a stress-free experience. Sitting on a bus stuck in traffic is not much fun. And cycling isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs.

Surely using your own two feet though is a hassle-free exercise?

Not, it seems, if you happen to be stuck on a particular section of Princes Street.

We have already reported how it can apparently take six minutes just to walk 100 metres because of traffic light changes which hold-up the pedestrian crossings.

Now it appears an added challenge has been introduced in the form of the crossing at Frederick Street where the green man stays on for just six seconds.

Ample time perhaps for some. Not for those laden with shopping bags at the back of the queue, pushing buggies, or those who are not as fleet of foot as they once were.

After reported near-misses and bus drivers now routinely sounding their horns before even turning the corner, there is now understandably growing pressure for the issue to be addressed.

On the grand scheme of Edinburgh’s traffic problems, this is perhaps not top of the priority list, but it does seem that pedestrians have been given a raw deal as the council has worked to make sure the trams and the buses keep moving.

Admittedly, it is a difficult balancing act but if we are serious about attracting more people to shop and eat out in the city centre then it absolutely has to be as pleasant an environment as possible.

Waiting for several minutes before having to cross the road at high speed with a number 11 breathing down your neck is not the definition of pedestrian-friendly.

The city council has pledged to monitor the situation and “refine” the lights as needed. We hope that happens so once again a stroll along Princes Street does not have to feel like an obstacle race.