Letters: Ugly tram poles trample on Capital’s ‘jewel in crown’

With Princes Street re-opening this weekend citizens will be able to see the further defilement perpetrated on our “jewel in the crown” by the ghastly line of tram poles adding to the blot of what Gehr Architects described as “a wall of buses”.

At least the latter only occurs during rush hours – the blot on the landscape created by the tram poles and wires is going to be permanently spoiling the view from Princes Street.

And I have yet to see what will happen with the tram service on Princes Street when it has to be closed for festivals, parades, fireworks or protest marches.

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If we had to have the trams (which we didn’t), they, and the buses, could have been on George Street, with Princes Street fully pedestrianised except for tour buses.

Planning informed me Princes Street was selected rather than George Street because that was the majority verdict of respondents. This was a massive planning error, worthy of comparison with those of Abercrombie and later Buchanan – but these two were defeated!

John Duncan, Rose Street North Lane, Edinburgh

Parking fee is not worth so much

EAST Lothian visitors and residents are being threatened with coastal car parking charges.

When the SNP consulted with the public in 2009 we quickly found that there was little support and that income levels would be nowhere near the figures now being quoted by Labour. In fact, the proposed Labour budget in February this year had an income of £250,000 this year from car parking charges! Of course that is before the, at least, six figure set-up and ongoing costs of administration.

The SNP view is that to introduce such charges would not generate massive income as claimed. And let’s look at the implications for the East Lothian economy. The very idea of more charges puts off tourists, and the money they spend in East Lothian which accounts for around 20 per cent of employment.

And it would appear that Labour just announced this policy without telling their Tory partners, the leader of which party will vote against any charges.

Cllr Stuart Currie, SNP, Musselburgh East and Carberry Ward, East Lothian Council

Charges keep the boy racers away

I DISAGREE with the Evening News viewpoint on levying a small fee on parking at beaches in East Lothian “We will fight them on the beaches!” (News, June 22).

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In Fife there is a charge in place to park at the Silver Sands Aberdour (summer only). This charge has been in place for many years and it currently stands at £1.20 and allows you to stay all day.

The best thing about the charge at Aberdour Silver Sands is the parking is controlled and it keeps the beach front itself clear of cars. The only vehicles that are allowed onto the beach front are emergency vehicles and those which have a disabled blue badge.

The controlled parking also ensures that the beach front is not frequented by boy racers and other undesirables and allows a safer environment for families and their children who are visiting the beach.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Plan for benefit cuts a PR disaster

THERE can be no greater example of the impact of remaining part of the UK than the benefit cuts proposed in Scotland by the Tories at Westminster. Coming on the day that the Tories, in alliance with the Labour Party, launched the No to independence campaign in Edinburgh, this was clearly a major PR disaster.

David Cameron’s proposals include introducing regional rates of benefits, scrapping housing benefit for the under-25s and removing or restricting some benefits to out-of-work families with large numbers of children. The Prime Minister’s intervention comes as an IPSOS Mori poll shows 67 per cent of people want the Scottish Government to take control of welfare and benefits, and yet the Labour Party are happy to let the Tories run the welfare state into the ground.

There are few certainties in life, but one of those is that we will see Scottish benefits cut by the Tories at Westminster, the price to be paid for the supposed Union dividend.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh