Chance to be heard AND a chance to listen?
January 14th and 15th early next year.
Two dates to pencil in if you want to have a little look at how things get done in Edinburgh.
A Public Hearing (so all are welcome) at which the topic is various effects of the traffic displacement now being caused by the abject transport planning across a decade or more.
Don't be put off thinking that the title on the letter (see here in our document vault) means it is just about Charlotte Square.
It's about more than that; it's a good look at the way big issues split up into little pieces of issues these days, in order that any opposing views become fragmented (We have talked about this before...at great and perhaps wearying length, but that doesn't mean we are wrong!) They like fragmented issues because then instead of blaming the people who are really blame we all end up blaming each other; cyclists blame car drivers, taxis blame cyclists and car drivers, buses blame traffic (in general), pedestrians blame cyclists, car drivers blame cyclists, and so on.
While we are all so busy blaming each the administrators, planners and often hapless councillors get away in the confusion.
The confusion they work hard to create.
If you feel there's a bit more traffic in YOUR street these days, in Newington, Bruntsfield or Sciennes. Or over in Inverleith, Stocksbridge, St leonards or Leith then you should be interested in this meeting.
Or if you are a driver of a car, van or HGV and have decided just to nip round a few back streets to avoid the jams ...then you should be interested as well.
And even if you don't drive, and haven't noticed especially more traffic coming down your street the tram will soon start running and if you think, as the council hope you'll think, this means 'the problems' are all behind us, then you too will be interested in what you will hear at this public hearing.
We're only getting this opened up in public because the Council messed up their own legal process when trying to force through one thing too many under the radar a year or so back. We as residents were confused, but we weren't the only ones, so were the council it seems, and it was their uncrossed 't's and undotted 'i's on the legal documents that has ended up with this public hearing as they try now to get the legal and consultative ducks in line for changes that are already happening.
Heads may have rolled over this cock-up; people have certainly been annoyed in high places inside and outside the Council, but the important thing isn't seeing heads rolling or annoyed faces, the important thing is to see real change in the mindset and attitude of those who see themselves as running Edinburgh, and that will only happen when they see more and more people realising that the cock ups and catastophes of recent years have not happened as the unfortunate result of a series of unforseeable accidents; and are not all about to stop, just because a toy train set that had hundreds of millions of extra pounds chucked at it starts actually trundling backwards and forwards up it's single line.
What stops the problems getting better isn't the tram starting to run, it is the Council starting to face up to them.
But that requires them to admit they exist and right now in Edinburgh they're too busy arranging parties and press releases to tell us how well it's all going to do that.
Things most likely are not going to change as a result of this Hearing, but at least those who turn up, and later read the conclusions and minutes of teh council meetings following this, will see for themselves 'how things are done these days', and not have to just take our word for it.