In the slow lane

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Your leader, “Common sense ­declines with speed limits” (14 January), seems to set a low priority on the right of Edinburgh citizens (and visitors) to enjoy their city in peace and safety.

There is no right to drive a car. Some citizens (a minority in many parts of Edinburgh) are licensed to do so, subject to certain conditions. These conditions include not impairing their ability to avoid endangering their fellow citizens by drinking and driving, a safety measure which you seem unaccountably to oppose.

I’m sure the beleaguered, under­privileged owners and customers of all those “golf club bars” will greatly appreciate your support, while the rest of us living in the 21st century play very sad tunes on very small violins.

Safety considerations are relevant to speed limit conditions, but more important is what kind of city we want to live in. Edinburgh City Council’s main purpose is surely not to provide routes for people who “simply want to get from A to B with the minimum of fuss and delay” by private car.

What about children who want to play on streets outside their houses, or cross the road to get to a park; people who don’t want to get from A to B but who want to enjoy spending time in Edinburgh with all it has to offer; people who choose to get from A to B with the minimum of fuss and delay by sustainable and enjoyable modes of travel such as walking or cycling; people who fancy a lunchtime stroll and business owners who rely on passing trade?

All of these citizens and these other ways of being in the city are perhaps more important than driving through it. 

V Leigh

Lady Menzies Place

Edinburgh

I agree wholeheartedly with your complaint about lack of common sense in further restrictions being imposed on the ­public.

We are surely entitled to statistical evidence – not just a claim – to justify further ­intrusions, such as the proposed reductions to 20mph on Edinburgh roadways.

This might well result in increased accidents, for instance with more people risking walking or cycling through slower-moving traffic.

You also properly cite the ­reduction in allowed blood/alcohol levels for drivers.

The previous limit must have been regarded as safe, so where is the evidence that it no longer is (rising numbers of accidents involving drivers below it), and that the new limit is acceptable as safe (numbers of accidents among drivers above and below the new maximum)?

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road

Tranent

The decision to introduce a variable speed limit in Edinburgh is based on a consultancy exercise “massively” in favour of the now confirmed decision of the 
council.

We need to know of the details of the survey to establish exactly how many participated in it; this has not been disclosed and, being a true sceptic, I think we all need to be told.

The whole business is a crass exercise which will be expensive to implement over three years and to little advantage to reduced pedestrian fatalities and a huge and expensive inconvenience to all road user.

Having lost the congestion charge the miserable transport and environment committee members are at us all again.

Charlie Stott

Easter Howgate

Midlothian

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