Leader: A capital of car users? Perhaps that’s soon to change

With the tram works, the water mains works, the gas mains works, and miscellaneous road works, not to mention the baffling one-way systems and the challenge of navigating through a medieval centre, it is a wonder that Edinburgh citizens remain wedded to the car.

Yet a report by lobbying group Campaign for Better Transport has found the capital suffers more congestion than those cities associated with grid-lock and madcap driving, Paris and Rome. Edinburgh was also the third most car-dependent capital surveyed.

According to the report, the capital’s citizens’ Mr Toad-like love of the motor car is due to low bicycle use, costly public transport and poor air quality. On the first they may have a point, though cycle use is notably on the increase and more off-road cycle lanes would help.

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On the second, Edinburgh is known for reasonable bus fares, though they have increased of late, which may have had an impact. As to poor air quality, well if fewer people used cars, that would improve. It is chicken and egg.

So what to do? Bringing back Sedan chairs has a leisurely attraction in the city centre, but is sadly a tad impractical. So here’s a radical idea no-one has thought of: how about getting a move on building the damn tram system?