Trams have ruined the capital’s roads

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The excellent article by Shan Ross and John Connell (30 March) illustrates very clearly the effect of the tram development on the traffic flow in Edinburgh.

It is little wonder that Edinburgh is now the third most congested city in the UK.

Simple logic dictates that if you remove the equivalent of two and a half lanes from the main routes through the centre of a city you are going to force traffic to back up and create congestion.

This was the forecast outcome by the council’s own planners and yet the council decided to disregard common sense and reality in order to have what is now just a link which goes from central Edinburgh to the airport.

While the trams may look good, the environmental cost is huge, with residents now having to accept greatly increased pollution, daily congestion and a considerably increased noise level right round the clock.

Every decision of the council appears to be aimed at making life more difficult for cyclists and drivers. The road closure experiment in George Street has done nothing except to make the area look shabby with the outside storage of unused tables and chairs in the expensive outside structures that have been put up.

The street has been degraded by these monstrosities and needs to be returned to its original Georgian
splendour.

A similar situation holds for Charlotte Square which is about to be subjected to changes in the “public realm” which will effectively 
reduce it to a one-way circuit of a single lane on three 
sides.

This will have the effect of again increasing congestion, pollution and noise through residential streets.

But everywhere you look the state of the roads in the city is a disgrace and many people are deciding to buy cross-country vehicles to cope with the dreadful state of our roads.

It seems clear that the road repair budget is suffering because the council is having to pay interest still on the massive loan that it had to take out to bring the tram from Haymarket to York Place.

What will be interesting will be to see the actual cost of running the trams for a complete year.

Doubtless the council will try to hide the true position by concealing the figures with the Lothian Bus 
operation under the heading of “Transport for 
Edinburgh”.

Allan Alstead

Moray Place

Edinburgh

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