Letters: Shandwick Place in need of an upgrade

Shandwick Place still lacks an identity. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
Shandwick Place still lacks an identity. Picture: Malcolm McCurrach
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Iain Mercer writes a timely comment (News, February 5) about the revival of Shandwick Place since the end of tram works. But reading it, I doubt I’m the only one to have concerns with his ‘talking up’ of the street.

Yes, being able to walk more freely and catch a bus again is good news. The underlying major problems for the street remain, though. The pavements are as narrow as they were before, which probably accounts for a total lack of bus shelters – the new tram shelters are such a narrow design they could fit easily. Paving is still an ongoing joke.

There is no “destination” shop or store since Habitat closed.

To say having three local supermarkets is in some way manna from heaven doesn’t wash. Nor the ongoing tedium of sandwich shops.

Rae McIntosh has drawn customers to every address it has occupied. Shandwick Place may well be a principal thoroughfare, but on current showing it lacks in so many ways.

Graham Davidson, Edinburgh

Supermarket self-service is no service

Does anybody remember the good old days, when you could go into a shop or supermarket and get good service?

Many shops nowadays seem to treat customers like second-class people. For instance, many shops with 30-40 checkouts that only have about five operational with staff, while the rest are self-service.

Many people like myself do not like these automated tills and much prefer to be served by a person.

Other shops wait until there are huge queues, then get extra checkout operators.

Is it not in the shop’s best interests to serve the customer as fast as possible and leave them with good feelings about the shop as they are leaving?

Many times I have had a bad experience and decided not to visit these shops again.

Grant Hately, Mountcastle Loan, Edinburgh.

Why 20mph traffic zones are no answer

Councillor Lesley Hinds recently welcomed 20mph zones across the city. I can say from experience that they do not work and are a cheap way for the council to pretend they are taking traffic calming seriously – after all, it is far cheaper to paint road markings and stick up some signs than to put in place adequate measures.

Last year they were introduced in my neighbourhood, this includes the Grange Loan - Newbattle Terrace corridor. I walk along this road every day and 95 per cent of the traffic using it treat it like a motorway through town.

I have spoken to the council’s safer roads department about my concerns, as I have children who have to walk to school and cross Newbattle Terrace, and they admitted to me that since the zones were put in, several areas had been highlighted as being of major concern regarding road users’ lack of notice of the new lower limits.

In other words they do not work, because without enforcement, most road users ignore the lower limits. Of course, they could try to enforce the new limits but who is going to do that? Certainly not Police Scotland, with their penny-pinching at every corner.

I did ask them why the Grange Loan - Newbattle corridor were the only roads in the area where speed bumps are not installed and I was told that as it was a main route from Newington to Morningside they wanted to leave it free from traffic calming measures.

The answer to safer roads is not 20mph zones, it is installing proper calming measures to force traffic to slow.

Owain Martin, Falcon Gardens, Edinburgh

Vote uncertainty is bad for Scotland

We are being told that we are not voting for Alex Salmond and yet it is his dream and future that we are talking about.

I am Scottish but also want to be part of the United Kingdom, yet he feels he can speak for me.

Why should David Cameron have a head-to-head confrontation with Alex Salmond when this is all down to him and his sidekick Nicola Sturgeon?

At least the Westminster government are being up front with their answers, but Alex Salmond can’t give us a lot of the answers until he gets the yes vote. The uncertainty of all this is bad for Scotland both here and abroad.

It would seem that the devolved powers he has are not enough for him. In the event of a No vote will Alex Salmond walk away from politics?

If it is a yes vote and it all goes wrong a few years later, we can’t go cap in hand back to Westminster and plead to join the United Kingdom again.

Please vote for what you wish for NOT what Alex Salmond wishes for.

Mrs S Smart, Penicuik

Global warming? Blame volcanoes

Prince Charles has called climate change deniers ‘headless chickens’.

If anyone is behaving like headless chickens it is the environmentalists who claim every freak storm is a symptom of manmade global warming, which is infinitesimal compared with the CO2 created by nature.

Recently the Mount Sinabung volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra erupted spewing out ash clouds and CO2.

In 2010 of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjalljokull’s ash cloud caused enormous disruption to air travel.

The volcano Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991 and spewed out more greenhouses gases than the entire human race had produced in all its years on earth.

Volcanic eruptions proves how futile are the attempts of man to control the climate. There are 500 active volcanoes in the world. Will Prince Charles, (Prince Canute) be able to overcome nature?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow