‘City can’t just sit back and let cash roll in’

Today’s news that the number of parking tickets dished out in Edinburgh is on the rise will come as no surprise to anyone.

That heart-sinking moment when you race back to your car only to be greeted with a flash of red underneath the wiper blade is surely one experienced by all but the luckiest or most conscientious parkers.

If there is one thing to be said for the city’s parking enforcers, it is that they know their job well. And part of that, naturally, is knowing where to target their resources for greatest reward.

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George Street remains the most- ticketed street, not surprisingly, with such a high turnover of ready prey. All the other favourites are also in the top ten – the likes of Chambers Street, St Andrew Square, and Queen Street.

But what is surprising is the street which occupies the number two position – the relatively low-profile Chalmers Street.

Look closer and you will see that it has regularly featured in the most ticketed list. Dig a little further and the reason why it has amassed nearly 4000 tickets in a year becomes clear.

As anyone who has attended an appointment at one of the NHS Lothian facilities there will testify, spaces are like gold dust. And much like parking at the Sick Kids hospital, attempting to match the length of a visit to the pay-and-display limit can be impossible.

The city council say many Chalmers Street tickets are cancelled on receipt of the circumstances, but surely this illustrates a real problem which should be investigated further.

There is clearly a limit to how many vehicles can be accommodated but other options could be explored, including better public transport links.

Parking enforcement is an important role for every council but that does not mean our city leaders should simply sit back and watch the money rolling in.

Sick as a parrot

The latest act of vandalism to strike city football club Edina Hibs is a tragedy. While the loss of equipment valued at £4500 is a blow in itself, the real impact is felt by the volunteers who give their time and effort to keep such clubs going. Who would blame them if they packed it all in? Who could blame the club if it relocated?

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Edina has been coaching youngsters in the city for more than 40 years and over that time hundreds of youngsters have benefited. It would be a tragic loss if such wanton destruction was to affect young people in the future.