Edinburgh -This shambles of a city just goes from bad to worse - Liam Rudden
SOMEONE, somewhere needs a good talking too. Namely, whoever sanctioned closing off York Place west-bound just as the Christmas madness kicks off at the East End of Princes Street.
Last Sunday, heading in to for a late lunch at Tattu, Edinburgh’s new fine-dining Chinese restaurant on West Register Street (sublime food, eye-watering prices), my bus sat on Waterloo Place for 20 minutes in the grid-lock now so common at the East End.
That’s what happens when you divert so many bus routes up Leith Street at the one time - Lothian Buses timetable schedulers must be pulling their hair out. Like many on board, my journey was abandoned long before my stop. Walked the remainder of the way being the fastest option.
Since then, it’s become a regular thing, on Monday it took 30 minutes to get from the end of London Road to Princes Street. Closing York Place at such a busy time leaves me wondering about the sanity of those making the decisions at the Council.
Anyone who travels regularly by bus knows that, even at the best of times, the east end of Princes Street is a nightmare thanks to frequently double stacked taxis blocking the road outside the Balmoral Hotel, deliveries and private hires pulling in where ever they can to drop off at the Waverley Steps - throw a tram coming from or turning into St Andrew Square and you have the perfect storm, and a long wait. It’s not unusual to have to sit through four or five cycles of the traffic lights before you finally get moving again.
Edinburgh simply doesn’t have the infrastructure to cope with everything that is currently being thrown at it and a more sensible approach from planners is required.
It’s not just the road system that is struggling, again, on Sunday, a search for a hole in the wall proved futile; the RBS machines blocked off by building works, the nearby Bank of Scotland and Barclays machines long gone - a walk to the nearest cash dispensers on George Street found them all out of order.
Yes, we have a broken city. What must visitors think when faces with such basic failures. It’s really not a great look.
The worrying thing is that there appears to be little we can do about it - certainly the faceless officers of the Council seem to have neither the desire nor ability to address the shambles.
And having committed to more trams and the use of the city centre as (basically) an 'all-year round' playground for tourists, the turmoil, like ourselves when travelling around the Capital, is going nowhere fast.
But then as was been pointed out to me, it’s the price we pay to keep our council tax from sky-rocketing. That has to be a good thing... doesn’t it?
In the meantime, it would be nice if they could get the junction at the foot of North Bridge sorted. I spotted an old photo earlier and it gave me an idea, a policeman directing traffic might be just the solution.
Oh, I forgot, the police don’t do that anymore, do they?