Readers' letters: Pavement widening measure need extra funding to become permanent

"Public consultations on active travel show better pavements are the top ask from the public”

Friday, 11th June 2021, 7:00 am

Pavement widening measure need funds

With the council due to decide on the future of Spaces for People measures next week, much attention has been focused on road closures and cycle lanes.

However, for pedestrians, the most important change has been the temporary 'footway widening' in shopping streets like Dalry, Morningside, Corstorphine and Stockbridge.

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These measures are often far from perfect, involving a step into the gutter and 'stop/start' sections often only a few metres long.

However, they have been used by many people who want extra space to walk in, and they demonstrate the need for many busy city pavements - some less than two metres wide in places - to be made wider permanently.

Public consultations on active travel - including the Spaces for People exercise - consistently show that better pavements are the top ask from the public.

Converting these temporary features into proper wider pavements will take time; the need to extend kerb lines and move drainage mean that it will also be expensive. But it is absolutely necessary if walking is really to be given the top priority in practice which both local and national policy say it should be.

For this reason, we have written to Transport Scotland (jointly with Spokes Lothian, the cycling campaign) asking that capital funding is made available to Scottish councils to ensure that permanent walking and cycling infrastructure really is fit for purpose for the future.

David Hunter, Convenor, Living Streets Edinburgh.

Celebrating St Columba on Iona

In 1963 my father and I travelled to Iona by train and steamer to celebrate the anniversary of St Columba’s landing on Iona in 563.

Before boarding the steamer King George V, we were greeted at the gangway by the Primus who spoke the immortal words (it was wet) "Which of yous didnae say yer prayers this mornin?"

We got under way and sailed into thick mist. After an hours sailing we heard the anchor go down and through the mist appeared one of the red boats to take us to the jetty.

A steady stream of pilgrims appeared from where, nobody knew. We eventually arrived at the abbey to listen to the sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

With the service ended, we made our way out to be greeted by sunshine and blue sky and the Western Islands looking their best.

Lying in the Sound of Iona were three passenger ships including the King George V. That was a piece of seamanship – not only in thick fog but a sandbahk in the middle .

On our way back, as country dance music played over the Tannoy, the Archbishop walked around talking to the passengers.

Iona may be only three miles long and 1.5 miles wide but it is the jewel in the Western Isles. That was a memorable day.

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh.

Pets need their vaccinations too

The pandemic may have meant most owners spending more time with their pets; however, it has also interrupted the rhythm of life so that record numbers of dogs and cats have missed their annual vaccinations.

Unfortunately some owners only discover the problem when they want to go on holiday or travel for business, and catteries and kennels have to turn their pets away as unvaccinated.

Please, if you are a pet owner, check their vaccination cards today; your holiday may depend on it!

Isabel Page, Ingliston.