WHAT IMPROVEMENTS WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE?
What Improvements would you want to see?.
On this website we have avoided publishing anything like a manifesto or list of things we’d like to see, not because the residents have no ideas, but in order to avoid the council trying to turn any debate into one about ‘our ideas’ – rather than the still unacknowledged and many defects in ‘their ideas’.
But this set of ideas, in a recent exchange by an Ediinburgh resident who has followed events surrounding the Tram project and associated traffic problems closely for many years, and a member of the council, seems to us to contain a number of very well thought-through points, set out very well, and makes a good starting point for the long overdue, meaningful engagement by the Council for which we still wait…………….
Professor William's article is worth reading. Here is the link to the full article:
I appreciate that you are striving to make Edinburgh a world class city. Unfortunately many of the, apparently, ad hoc policies introduced during the last ten years have been counter productive or have demonstrated a failure to consider the impact and implications of the policies upon other aspects of City life.
You asked what improvements I would like to see. I have thought carefully about this and have split my improvements into two groups. The first deals with the way in which the Council operates and the second are specifics.
The way in which the Council operates:
- Council officials should be willing to recognise that they are not always correct. There have been many instances during the last few years when officials have gone to enormous lengths (and costs) to impose their vision or interpretation of situations upon councillors and the electorate when the evidence clearly demonstrates that alternate options would have been more beneficial than the recommendations made and decisions taken.
- Officials should be held accountable for their proposals, decisions and expenditure with clear consequences for mistakes made.
- The recommendations of specialist consultants should be carefully considered, challenged and rejected or revised where appropriate. Computer modelling should be recognised as an aid to decision making and its forecasts not accepted as evidence. There have been many examples during the last eight years where council reports and modelling indicate that this has not happened, in particular on the tram project.
- There should be a reduction in 'spin' and a move towards a culture of openness and transparency.
As a resident of the City Centre I can only comment upon topics that affect me directly.
- No more decisions concerning TROs in the City Centre should be taken (including the current Charlotte Square proposal) until an holistic City Centre Traffic plan has been agreed. The failure to have one in place already to cope with the implications of the tram's introduction demonstrates a clear dereliction of duty as the Local Transport Strategy 2007-12 ( published in March 2007) stated that "The ECCMC Action Plan also provides for the development of a city centre transport strategy. This would set out the vision and future framework for city centre transport. However, such a strategy needs to show how the opportunities presented by the introduction of trams will be used. It cannot therefore be developed until the details of tram construction are known. The Council will develop a City Centre Transport Strategy when full details of tram construction and design are finalised". (p 91) (My bold)
This paragraph acknowledges that the introduction of the tram would cause a problem and proposed action once the 'details of tram construction are known.' Nowhere does the strategy suggest that planning must be delayed until after the trams are running. And yet, nothing seems to have been considered until the recent establishment of the Transport Forum.
2. Air pollution caused by traffic in the City Centre will become more and more serious. Whilst the route of the tram will see reduced air pollution there will be a significant increase due to displaced traffic. This will be highly significant if :
- buses are rerouted from Princes Street to George Street and elsewhere.
- other general traffic is forced through residential streets.
The dangers of PM10 have only been proved scientifically in the last few years. Its impact needs to be considered more seriously than stated in the Local Transport Strategy 2007-12.
……………………….. We think that hits the spot and trust you agree?