Comment: Tram charging plan needs work

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THERE are always buzz words when it comes to public services. Communities have to be “cohesive”, development “sustainable” and transport “integrated”.

What the jargon means is not always obvious, but is sometimes just common sense dressed up in corporate speak.

That is certainly the case when it comes to integrated transport. It makes sense for buses and trams to complement rather than compete with each other.

Offering a single ticket to travel on both and charging the same for basic journeys is sensible. It would be crazy to do anything else.

What doesn’t make much sense is the fudge agreed on concessionary travel. The city council has delivered for Edinburgh pensioners, but the Scottish Government hasn’t for those outside the city boundary. Yes, the concessionary fares scheme is expensive to run, but there must be better ways to control its costs than this.

We’re going to actively discourage pensioners from Mid, East and West Lothian and further afield from catching the tram. It’s hardly buses and trams working together. It’s 
dis-integrated transport planning.

Reach for the stars

Forget Cowell and Co, it’s the only talent contest that matters in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Edinburgh’s Got Talent 2013 is on a mission to dig out the stars of the future. Singers, dancers, comedians, whatever – if you’ve got a talent, it’s time to show it off.

If inspiration was needed, you only need to take a stroll through the city centre during Festival time. There, alongside performers from around the world, are previous EGT contestants such as Ciara Harvie who, as we told this week, is proving a massive hit on the Fringe. And then there’s last year’s winner, Rebecca Traynor, who tells today how the competition has changed her life.

Think you could do the same? Get your audition recorded today.