Interactive: Council must take blame for driving motorists from city

Do you agree that the city council has no right to complain that motorists are choosing out-of-town shopping centres over the city centre. Get in touch and let us know.

Tel: 0131 620 8692

THE people in charge of Edinburgh City Council really do astound me. For the last 10 years (at least), they have been totally anti-car, making it almost impossible to drive into the city centre. And if you do venture into town, parking spaces are at a premium.

So, like thousands of others, I have simply boycotted Princes Street and surrounding areas (the last time I bought anything from Princes Street was summer 2004), instead going to large supermarkets, which have ample free parking, or the likes of Ocean Terminal, Newcraighall, Straiton or Craigleith.

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Having made it abundantly clear that myself and my fellow motorists are not welcome, they now start bleating that nobody shops in the city centre any more and Princes Street is like a ghost town. What did they expect?

A colleague of mine went into town shopping a few weeks ago and after eventually getting parked at Castle Terrace, she went back to her car three hours later with arms like a gorilla, laden with shopping bags, and faced a 9 charge to get her car back. She insists she will stick to Newcraighall in future.

When it comes to the city centre, I just don't understand how you can treat the general public with utter contempt and then moan when they shop elsewhere.

Martin Jones, Forrester Park Gardens, Edinburgh

Public safety must come before party

IT MAY have escaped Edinburgh Council's notice that the back streets, i.e roads in housing schemes, have been treacherous now for more than a week.

The footpaths on Bellenden Gardens and the rest of the Inch area of Edinburgh are like sheets of ice, these footpaths have not been gritted, or treated.

The other day, I fell, fracturing my lower wrist, on these pavements.

No further action will be taken, but I assume that Edinburgh Council in this ever-changing climate period should be dealing with this, instead of seemingly throwing all our hard-earned money at tram works, the Capital's new year street party and paying council bonuses.

Public safety should be more important than this.

Stuart Smith, Bellenden Gardens, Edinburgh

Hogmanay events have lit up Capital

FOR the first time since Edinburgh's festive events started, I decided to miss them this year because of other commitments.

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But I watched the torchlight procession pass along Princes Street, Waterloo Place and Calton Hill from my window and thought that the people who were seeing it for the first time would not be disappointed.

It was quite a sight to see as the torchlight procession made its way on to Calton Hill for the fireworks display. The participants would have realised that when they picked Edinburgh for the festive season they had made the right choice.

I will miss the street theatre and the street party for the first time this year, but I know it will be as good, if not better, than in previous years. These events have been good for our city over the years, despite some criticism from a few sceptics who when trying to condemn these events give the impression of never being there themselves?

As long as people keep coming to our city for these and the other events that our city holds, we should prosper. We live in a fast changing world and we all have to adapt to it for the good of our city and the people in it.

Long may the events that Edinburgh holds all year round continue for the benefit of our city and its residents.

Andrew Murphy, Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Shameful execution is deeply saddening

IT'S deeply sad and appalling that Briton Akmal Shaikh, who was convicted of drug smuggling, was executed.

Absolute shame on China for doing do despite pleas to save his life on the grounds of mental illness which fell on deaf ears.

Poor Akmal was suffering from a biopolar disorder and it's obvious he wasn't responsible for his actions when he was arrested with 4kg of heroin in Urumqi, north-west China, in September 2007.

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My thoughts, prayers and sympathies go out to the deceased Mr Shaikh's family. It's just shocking how cruel China could be.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian