John McLellan: Next stop Granton down the line?

Last week I reported the view of Ryden's respected property consultant Dr Mark Robertson about the need to deliver a new district the size of Edinburgh Park to meet demand for quality city centre office space and the lack of a city centre site anywhere near big enough.

Next stop Granton for the tram?  Picture Ian Rutherford
Next stop Granton for the tram? Picture Ian Rutherford

The caveat is “city centre” can mean anywhere near a major transport facility if the other components are in place, like shops, bars and restaurants, as well as good quality, available, affordable housing.

Mulling this over with a senior transport figure last week, the Granton Spur tram line, for which the connection to the existing line is already laid, might be back on the agenda and public relations groundwork could start almost immediately after the expected go-ahead for the Newhaven completion later this year.

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Tram drivers in strike ballot over '˜culture of blame'

As before, the belief is that land along the line from Roseburn would be more attractive for office development than places like Crewe Toll are currently, providing jobs for people living in the council’s new community of affordable homes on the gasworks site. Because the route is almost entirely along the old railway line, construction cost would be far lower, at around £100m.

It sounds a bit too good to be true and the current approach to funding loads risk on to the taxpayer. With infrastructure finance based on long-term, low-interest private investment being examined for Granton – a necessity to fund schools if the housing is to be predominantly social – then why not include the transport network?

Black mark for the selfish White Van Man

The phenomenon of aggressive White Van Man who doesn’t give a stuff about other road users has become a bane of modern urban living, like the ape who jumped out his vehicle to threaten me for having the temerity to reverse into my own driveway while he was doing around 40mph.

But WVM’s selfish disregard for anyone but themselves was perfectly illustrated by the driver who parked on top of newly-planted flowerbeds at Saughton Park last weekend.

Pictures of the van owned by AM Foods of Sauchiebank wasn’t a social media trend likely to boost business, so company director Phil Murray said he was “absolutely appalled that someone could show such little regard for public property” and promised to deal with the offender.

How about getting the employee to rectify the damage – with an AM Foods plastic tea spoon?