Parking space invaders clog up our streets

IN your article "Call for more parking spaces at new homes" (March 4), Edinburgh City Council transport leader Phil Wheeler's comment that "Developers were expected to provide one parking space per dwelling, although access to public transport was taken into account", showed he failed to address the real problems that the community around West Granton Road are having to deal with each day.

The main reason why the streets around the area are overly congested by vehicles is not due to new development housing, but to poor council planning policy of allowing the developers to build the Scottish Gas headquarters and Telford College without providing adequate parking facilities for the thousands who work and study in the area.

As George Taylor, secretary of West Pilton/West Granton Community Council pointed out, "Not a lot of people live in the area yet but already parking is a problem".

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If city council planning officials continue to allow developers to build residential and commercial properties that only provide minimal parking for staff, the council are failing to protect the existing community residents who live outside the development.

Why should the residents of Granton have to see their streets being used as overspill car parks, whilst the new residents living within the new development have quiet streets with no congested parking?

One way in which the council could help alleviate the parking problems at Granton would be for them to remove the double yellow parking restrictions around Waterfront Avenue. This would allow the staff at Scottish Gas and Telford College to park within a wide road, whilst taking the pressure off the streets around the existing community.

Some people suspect the reason for keeping Waterfront Avenue double yellow lined is that developers can sell their new properties easier if the roads are empty.

Lawrence Dinse, Crewe Road North, Edinburgh

Hefty fines will sort out selfish drivers

YOUR expose of the antisocial habit of careless parking is spot-on (Double trouble on city's streets, Evening News, March 7).

Around where I stay in the Shandon "colonies" there is an increasing problem of selfish drivers leaving their cars mounted up on pavements overnight, blocking access for wheelchairs and prams and, on occasion, leaving little space for all but the smallest car to squeeze through.

It is only going to take one real emergency for this habit to become a fatal one. There is really no excuse for this. Whether it is the police or the city council effective enforcement action needs to be taken.

A few hefty fines and tow-aways will get the message over that pavements are for people not cars.

Gavin Corbett, Briarbank Terrace, Edinburgh

Hotel snack left us with sour feelings

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I WAS interested to read your article about the Caledonian Hotel and the first-class reputation it portrays (Cool it, the Pomp's going to be okay, News, February 15).

Recently my husband and I thought we would treat ourselves to a snack in the lounge of the Caledonian.

There were only two other ladies already in the lounge so it was not busy!

After about five minutes a waitress took our order, which was two sandwiches, one coffee and one glass of wine.

The drinks were served about ten minutes later. And the coffee was cold!

When 25 minutes had elapsed we asked if our snack was not ready and were told it would be in a few minutes. In total we waited 35 minutes.

My sandwich consisted of two dry slices of brown bread with a very dry slice of overcooked beef, a trace of horseradish sauce, two thin slices of tomato and some lettuce.

My husband's sandwich was two dry slices of brown bread, "plastic ham" and some chutney and chips.

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This was not what we expected of a top-class hotel and if this is the quality of service and food provided to all guests, the reputation of the Caledonian is surely doomed. We could have had a much better snack at a fraction of the price in many of the other eating places in the city.

Mrs M A Murphy, Salters Terrace, Dalkeith

Let's put the party interests to the side

THE SNP Government has (so far) done a good job as a minority government. Now, on issues like creating rentable homes, all opposition parties owe it to Scotland's people to get fully behind the SNP to create the housing which is vitally needed.

Labour and Lib Dem and Tory must unilaterally accept that the real work of any politician is to do what is right for the benefit of people in Scotland, and put all personal and party interests aside.

Our country has suffered poor housing long enough due to mismanagement and narrow vision by previous administrations (who know who they are).

Now it is time to move ahead, prosper and build the great society we all want and all deserve. Let all in opposition take note that the voters want much fairer taxation and shared prosperity, which will dominate all future elections.

Trevor Swistchew, The Paddockholm, Edinburgh

For problems big or small, call free

THE launch by Wendy Alexander of "A Positive Start for Every Child" (News, March 3) highlights a proposal for a national telephone advice line to help parents.

We would like to remind News readers that there is already a telephone helpline for parents run by CHILDREN 1ST. ParentLine Scotland is the free, confidential, telephone helpline for anyone caring for a child in Scotland.

You can call about any problem, however big or small. The number is 0808 800 2222.

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Anne Houston, chief executive, CHILDREN 1ST, Whitehouse Loan, Edinburgh