Letters: Key revamp for city is only yards away from solution

Are you surprised that the tram development has got in the way of a major plan for the city?

The news that the re-development of the St James Centre, one of Edinburgh’s most prominent eyesores, is threatened by the decision of the city council to terminate the tram at a crossover set of tram points in the middle of York Place opposite St Paul’s and St George’s Church makes unwelcome reading indeed (News, November 16).

Surely it wouldn’t take much to run the trams just a few yards further to Picardy Place where a site for a permanent tram stop has long been planned? This would at least offer some service to the top of Leith Walk with the Playhouse, the Omni Centre and all the many restaurants in this area close to hand.

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If it also then allowed a new King James Hotel to be built on the adjacent site of the current eyesore of a roundabout at Picardy Place, so much the better.

“Elementary my dear Watson” as Sherlock Holmes – whose creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born at this location – might have said!

Lawrence Marshall, chair, Capital Rail Action Group, King’s Road, Portobello

No longer their friends in north

GEORGE Osborne, our Chancellor of the Exchequer, observes to the press that businessmen have asked him about the advisability of investing in an independent Scotland, and John Swinney’s knees immediately jerk – to accuse him of “sabotaging the Scottish economy”.

Get wise, John – if you intend to break up the UK, sabotaging our economy is part of Osborne’s job. Unsurprisingly Westminster increasingly no longer looks on us as friends in the north, but as commercial competitors – an opinion largely driven by the behaviour of Call Me Al and the Blue Face Brigade.

If Scotland is to be an independent country again we are going to be in a fight with the UK for every job, every contract, every tourist dollar and every pound of incoming overseas investment. That will be the cost of an independent Scotland, and we had better get used to it.

It’s likely that we have an uncomfortable few years ahead (I wish the SNP would be honest to its vision, and face the possibility) . . . but don’t worry – it could be fun as well.

David Fiddimore, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Bush trial should inspire others

I WAS captivated by your short piece about activists in Malaysia holding a symbolic trial this month against George W Bush and Tony Blair on charges against peace in the Iraq invasion (News, November 15). Apparently the Kuala Lumpur Crimes Tribunal is an initiative of retired prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

It must be hoped that this initiative will encourage the international community to use this as a springboard to bring these types of trials to reality and punish everyone responsible for their war crimes.

In a separate article on the same page, we learn there is a bloody feud in Libya between rival militias. What a surprise!

The punishment of the people responsible cannot come soon enough for using British aircraft to destroy that wretched but once rapidly developing country and for ousting the leader responsible for that development. They must be held accountable for the atrocities they mercilessly sanctioned.

William Burns, Pennywell Road, Edinburgh

Bus pram policy is just ridiculous

WITH reference to your recent story “Mums rev up for new fight over pram ban” (News, November 14), when my grandson was only three weeks old we were refused travel on the Lothian Buses 44 and 26 services as he was in his pram.

When he was about six weeks old my daughter was bringing him down from Edinburgh and was told that she was not able to travel on the 30 and 26 services as the pram could not fold down in one, and she became very upset and ended up contacting my brother to go and pick her up in his car.

I think the policy is ridiculous and unworkable as all new-born children require to be laid on their back.

David Taylor, South Seton Park, Port Seton