John Gibson: The health risks are plane to see

Share this article
Have your say

Turbulence. You could well do without it. But you are getting more than your fair share if you live in Edinburgh or its environs and you have aircraft frequently screaming over your head so low you are on first-name terms with the pilots.

See here and pay attention. It’s your health we are talking about. Living under a flight path for 20 years or more can increase the risks of stroke or heart attack.

For every ten decibels of aircraft noise people are exposed to on an average night the risk of developing these conditions rise by 25 per cent.

I have this on good authority. We have to assume that the researchers at the Imperial College in London know their job. They have checked this out with nearly 5000 people in central European countries, their lives blighted by the comings and goings of low-flying aircraft.

From personal experience I know how it feels living close to Edinburgh Airport and I’m baffled how householders there can tolerate it. Not without the substantial deduction on their Edinburgh City Council tax.

When in Rome

Legend has it that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Lire has it that the Eternal City was on the verge of bankruptcy and only government funding rescued it on Saturday from eternal humiliation.

Could Edinburgh, Athens of the North and all that jazz, suffer similar embarrassment? Well yes, if in distant years ahead a succession of city councils, composed of good men and women true, kept tinkering and toying with it.

Rome reduced to a rabble. Skint. The Vatican, Roma, Lazio. Everything. It’s as unthinkable as Edinburgh without the Castle, Tynecastle, the Canongate.

So dinnae fash yersels. Really, it couldnae happen here. What would happed to our beloved trams?