Letters: City’s streets ahead with lack of traffic at Christmas

Do you have something to say about any article in the News today – or anything else that’s on your mind? Let us know.

I have been in Princes Street a few times over the last few weeks and just want to say how much I enjoyed walking along a traffic-free street.

It was such a lovely atmosphere with all the Christmas markets, Santa’s train, food courts, red London buses used as cafes and the music, some live bands and groups singing.

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Over the years Edinburgh has really improved with the Festive theme and it is appreciated by the local people, not just the tourists.

Everyone was just strolling along Princes Street and enjoying the whole festive feeling.

I do hope this will happen again next year. The buses are being diverted up to George Street and the passengers are used to this change so it would not be difficult to put this in place again.

I know that the trams are to arrive sometime but surely as this is bringing trade this could be an annual event to have Princes Street traffic free at this busy time of the year.

If the trams could just have the last stop at the West End instead of going onto Princes Street just for Edinburgh’s Christmas festivities this would not cause much disruption to passengers at all. We have waited on them for years now, so I do not think that stopping them for a few weeks would really bother anyone very much.

Caroline Mills, Gaynor Avenue, Loanhead

No doubt about pool’s popularity

STEVE Cardownie’s comments about visitor numbers to Leith Waterworld (News, December 23) are bizarre.

The council’s own papers tell us that the pool, which is only open three days a week, attracts more than 120,000 visitors a year and compares favourably with other pools in the city. Anyone who uses the pool would be able to inform the councillor that it is mobbed at weekends.

Perhaps Councillor Cardownie is more concerned about distracting attention from his failure to meet the commitment he gave to the people of Edinburgh; that Waterworld would remain open until the Commonwealth Pool was fully open. Can we now trust any commitments this administration makes?

Simon Shields, Leith

It’s time to talk to Argentinians

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I’VE read that Argentina have gathered support from its neighbours, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to impose a shipping blockade of those ships flying the Falklands flag.

Looks like Argentina has done its homework this time, by gathering sympathetic support from its neighbours before taking the next daring threat to have another go at possessing the Falklands.

The jackals are gathering around the wounded and weak wildebeest – namely us, the UK, which is now almost isolated from former friendly European countries because of the Euro problems. You didn’t have to be a soothsayer to work this out.

It is perhaps time to get round the negotiating table with the Argentinians and sort this out in a sensible way.

Surely a share of the predicted wealth relating to oil and minerals around the Falklands coast, is better than going into another military conflict that could cost us more and at the same time totally cripple the country.

The UK is starting to be an international pariah due to our delusion that we are still an influential world power. Sadly we no longer are.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven Main Street, Edinburgh

Workers need to have right skills

THE Scottish Government’s appointment of a Minister for Youth Employment, followed so quickly by a £1.5m fund to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into employment over the next three years, is a welcome approach to tackling youth unemployment.

By offering the incentive of £2,000 to employers who take on a young person from a disadvantaged background this will give many of our young people a foot in the door to the world of work, making real progress in improving training and sustainable job opportunities for those who face challenges in their efforts to gain employment. It also makes it easier and less costly for firms to hire younger people.

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As the Scottish economy recovers from recession it is vital that we have a strong workforce that has the right skills not only required in today’s working environment, but also forecast for the future, and that we are delivering these workers at the right time, in the right place and in the right numbers.

Jacqui Hepburn, Alliance of Sector Skills Councils in Scotland, Edinburgh