I couldn’t help but see a certain irony in your editorial comment, published in my home city of Edinburgh, on forthcoming “pernicious” rail fare increases (29 November). You say that “good though bus services are, they simply cannot replicate the speed and convenience of the train”. Well said.
However, I live in Portobello, a community of some 10,000 souls long denied access to a rail service and for whom the bus journey into town, at its best, takes four times as long as a train would.
We are denied a rail service – despite being on the east coast main line – because, over the past 50 years since the closure of most of Edinburgh’s stations, officials have generally insisted that rail should serve only those commuting into the capital from outwith its boundaries.
Yet we in Edinburgh – greater in number and suffering even more from the “congested roads” you also refer to – pay our taxes, too. In fact, we subsidise those commuting by rail from Fife and the Lothians into the city centre, and who get there faster than we who travel there by largely unsubsidised buses.
It’s time Portobello got its station back and rail was allowed once more to realise its potential to transform travel for many in our capital city. The millions of extra hours needlessly added each year to journey times within Edinburgh is the real rail scandal that needs tackled.
Capital Rail Action Group