Readers' letters: Spaces for People scheme has proved a disaster

"No business case had been developed, records were patchy and there was no monitoring”

Friday, 13th August 2021, 8:00 am

Road changes have proved a disaster

I am glad to see you reporting the auditors’ comments on Edinburgh Council’s changes to roads, pavements and cycle lanes (News, 9 August).

It is no surprise that the so-called consultation about the changes involved ‘a relatively small group of officers and external local community stakeholders’.

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The auditors said that no business case had been developed, that records were kept only patchily and that there was no monitoring of the work.

The whole thing has been a disaster for Edinburgh. A heavily used highway like Morningside Road, pretty narrow as a bus route at the best of times, has been further reduced by the new street furniture for cycles. The closure of Braid Road to cars was completely arbitrary. The closing of the bus stop for the 23 and 27 at the top of Chambers Street was a disgrace.

Cyclists, for whose alleged benefit many of the changes were intended, have been left with lanes in which road debris gathers, making them hazardous for pedal cycles.

And all the while, the potholes in the roads remain in disrepair while the drainage system is clogged with weeds.

The council pleads poverty for the latter situation. What a pity they didn’t spend on road maintenance and drainage the no doubt generous funds they have put at the disposal of this ill-conceived and poorly executed scheme for which we, the council taxpayers, pay.

Jill Stephenson, Glenlockhart Valley, Edinburgh.

Spaces for people audit disgrace

So, the audit report on the spaces for people scheme gave a damning verdict on just about everything about the project.

Fair enough, the CEC had to act quickly at the start of the pandemic, but you could see a lot of the changes they were making to the streets weren't right and causing more harm than good.

But although they were reported, nothing changed. It seemed Lesley Macinnes was determined to use the situation to help her achieve her ultimate goal in making Edinburgh car-free.

Now, with the country opening up and I would imagine more people going back to work and going out more, we are going to be left with more road chaos unless the majority of changes go back to what they were originally. But that won’t happen as they have already spent the money to do this. So Edinburgh will probably be left with planters, cycle lanes and eyesores of concrete and plastic for a long time to come. All which will go into disrepair as we probably won’t be able to afford to maintain them all in the coming months.

Craig Naysmith, Mountcastle Crescent, Edinburgh.

Adopt a drain

I am quite sure that the residents of Edinburgh, business or otherwise, are fed up with the apparent reluctance of the council to clear the drainage system.

Is it feasible, therefore, for the public to "adopt a drain" and clear the drain nearest them?

The alternative is to persuade the leader of the council to roll his sleeves up and action his fellow councillors to set an example.

CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh.

Pricy prison

After 14 years in charge, is there no beginning to this government's talents?

The latest of a long long list of expensive failures is that the new luxurious super prison in Glasgow due to open in 2024 is now projected to cost taxpayers more than £300 million - triple the budgeted figure.

Lessons may have been learned but taxpayers will still have to pay for the negligence.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.