Letters: Underground car site for city centre is parking mad

I can’t believe that anyone is seriously proposing the creation of a “cavernous underground car park” below George Street (News, February 13).

I can’t believe that anyone is seriously proposing the creation of a “cavernous underground car park” below George Street (News, February 13).

This is about the last thing the city needs, particularly on the back of the trams debacle. But not only for that reason should this proposal be condemned.

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George Street is the main boulevard of the 18th century New Town. Where would the entrances and exits be located? What extent of disruption and potential damage might be caused?

Your article quotes Graham Birse’s caution that digging under the streets in a heritage city is “always complicated”. That’s putting it mildly – too mildly!

Also, there is no need. Edinburgh is not a big city. Encouraging more cars into the centre of the town is the very opposite of what we should be doing on environmental grounds as much as anything else.

The important historical legacy of the city, its uniqueness, is too precious to be sacrificed for the convenience of those motorists, who can’t be bothered it seems to walk any more than five minutes to get to the shops. It is no more than a few decades since a proposal to construct a major highway through the centre of the town was narrowly defeated.

It’s about time that those in authority appreciate what a rare jewel they have responsibility for and work to protect it and keep it safe for future generations, rather than trying to wring out whatever short-term financial profits they can make from it. Everyone who loves this place should vehemently oppose this absurd proposal.

Mike Nolan, Hampton Place, Edinburgh

Electric car sums just don’t add up

The folly of public spending on electric cars is only half exposed in Helen Martin’s article (News, February 11). There is only one thing which might justify such lavish spending on those with the considerable sum of money necessary to buy an electric car.

That is that the cars are in some way critical to saving the world – or at least making a huge difference. They are not.

The European HQ of Ecometrica is in Causewayside. In 2011 the company, which specialises in carbon accounting, produced a report noting that the electricity required to power an electric car typically produced CO2 emissions of 75g per km.

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When I’m not on my bike I drive a diesel car which has an emissions rating of 85g per km. And my car cost less than half of a typical electric car.

Nor did I get the £5000 grant from the taxpayer which goes to almost all the paltry 200 electric car owners in Scotland.

More people should do the maths which show the current policy is just another way to waste public money.

Cllr Cameron Rose, City Chambers, Edinburgh

Give us the facts on independence

if Scotland does indeed vote for independence in 2014, I wonder how the rest of the world will view an independent Scotland and what sort of social and economical impact there might be.

Will the country be respected and applauded for having the courage to “go it alone” or will it simply be dismissed as a small, insignificant backwater not worthy of investment?

Until the Nationalists can provide clear and concrete evidence that independence would be good for Scotland, I will remain sceptical.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Say goodbye to these fairy tales

Wouldn’t it be joyous if, alongside his frocks and silly hats, the departing Pope packed away all of the fairy tales and folklore that belong to a by-gone ancient era?

And wouldn’t it be even more joyous if all of the others did the same? Draw a line in the sand and enter the 21st century!

Phil Cowan, Laverockbank Avenue, Edinburgh

Thanks to trio of Good Samaritans

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I WOULD like to thank three people who helped me at the bus stop at Crewe Road West the week before last when I had a bad fall.

One gentleman helped my husband get me to the bus shelter while another phoned for an ambulance. Meanwhile a lady gave me tissues to stem the flow of blood. Also, a big thank you to the ambulance crew, who were marvellous.

M Paterson, Chancelot Terrace, Edinburgh