Readers react to calls to '˜get buses off Princes Street'

Readers have been quick to react to a hotel manager's calls for an overhaul of how buses and coaches are allowed to travel around the city centre.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 8:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th August 2018, 8:18 am

GM of the Mercure Edinburgh Princes Street Hotel, James Fraser, gave his two cents on the Council’s upcoming eight-week consultation concerning visions to transform “how people move around the city centre”.

“I have long suggested that hubs be created to take away traffic from Princes Street and this has hitherto been rejected,” said Mr Fraser.

Readers responding to the story voiced their concern and anger at the suggestion of re-routing buses away from the iconic thoroughfare.

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Get buses off Princes Street says hotel boss

Many believed that the suggestion placed tourists’ needs above those of local residents, particularly the elderly and those with limited mobility.

“What about people with difficulty walking, or those who have to catch a train? Would be very inconvenient for them if buses stopped going to the most important street in Edinburgh,” wrote Curtis Fairgrieve on the Evening News Facebook page.

Lynne Morrissey agreed: “Edinburgh is all about tourists and students. Its about time more thought was given to people that live there. How is [sic] elderly people and disabled going to manage?”

Susan Hanlon: “Princess St [sic] and the surrounding areas are places of work for hundreds of folk, they can’t park in town so how are they expected to get to work?”

Some argued that such a move could negatively impact Edinburgh’s businesses, including Mr Fraser’s hotel.

“Not sure he’d feel the same way when his hotel guests complain about having to walk to check in...” said Nikki Gallagher.

Robyn Thomson agreed: “Well if the council wants to lose even more shops from the town centre, then removing buses from a Princes Street will help them achieve their goal!”

However there were readers that believed the idea, or a similar vehicle restriction, has its benefits.

“Princes Street should be for service buses only, not coaches, not cyclists, not taxis or private hire “taxis”,” said Ken Johnston.

Sharon Wright agreed: “Being stuck on Princes Street for 30mins on Friday [on] a bus I do agree the volume of buses is crazy but they are needed to service edinburgh city centre.”

Others, such as Eileen Beesley, voiced their annoyance at the show of disdain for Edinburgh’s tourism industry. She said, “You want to get rid of a major source of income , investment and employment- couldn’t make this up. You live in a capital city that needs tourism but you want to stop it.”

As the Council discuss three seperate proposals for how to transform movement around Edinburgh’s centre over the coming months, doubtless the debate will rage on.