Our attempt to visit the shops and Christmas market in Edinburgh had to be abandoned on Sunday because of long delays on the M90 and logjam from Barnton to the centre.
At no point did we see any attempt to improve traffic flow, such as an intelligent use of the emergency/bus lane or a traffic policeman at bottlenecks.
Apart from the inadequate city bypass and the foolish tram project (too little, too late) Edinburgh has made little effort to improve traffic management in my lifetime, secure in the knowledge that – as a beautiful tourist magnet – it can afford to take the money and treat visitors and taxpayers with disdain.
Littered and pot-holed streets, cheaply patched, ankle-threatening pavements, grossly inadequate and expensive parking – any self-respecting Continental city would have built multi-storey car parks below Charlotte Square and St Andrew Square decades ago.
Nothing much changes except the tenants of tat-flogging shops on Princes Street and the Royal Mile.
So, no Christmas shopping or fun with grandchildren on Sunday. Won’t try again, thanks.
Perhaps the only hope is that once Edinburgh is truly a capital city and less of a provincial British one, we will look at stylish European cities and learn how to do it properly.