This site was not set up by a political party or business interest group - just by a small group of ordinary people in the city.
We were looking for straightforward answers to we thought at first were very simple questions.
But we found councillors unable to help, sometimes because they didn't know the answers, (sometimes because they were gagged by the Council's own lawyers from telling us them(!) sometimes because they were supplied with answers from officials that were simply at odds with the facts we could see around us.
Eventually we established this site simply to make sure a record would exist of what happened, what was said and what was done, or not done, just in case it might be useful one day.......
WE started by being opposed to the Edinburgh Tram project.
(Not Trams in general.
Or Green projects, public transport or anything else.
We weren't a pro-car lobby group, or anti-cyclist, or anything else the council liked to pretend about us in order to avoid just answering our inconvenient questions in a straightforward manner)
We were specifically opposed to the Edinburgh Tram Project only because it was a bad project.
- It was, and is, a bad project because it takes pollution from the city centre (by having exclusive use of the road space thus necessitating the removal of other vehicles)
- And not only decants the pollution into residential streets..thus exposing more people to pollution.
- But by making journey times longer on inefficient (too narrow, too many uncontrolled junctions etc) streets it increases the total pollution loading for the city as whole.
- MORE POLLUTION
- SENT DOWN RESIDENTIAL STREETS
- WHERE PEOPLE SPEND MORE TIME (THAN THEY DO IN THE CENTRE; SHOPPING OR ON A NIGHT OUT) BECAUSE IT IS WHERE THEY LIVE
- AND WHERE THOSE MOST VULNERABLE TO THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION (OLDER PEOPLE, AND YOUNG CHILDREN, AND INFANTS) ARE THE ONES WHO SPEND THE MOST TIME.
We have a policy and project that reduces pollution where younger, fitter people spend far less time on average and so are less exposed, but increases pollution in much larger areas of the city where people who are less fit and more vulnerable are exposed for longer periods of time.
Whatever that is - it is not a Green project
WE have a lot of facts on this site ..academic reports, council reports, the feasibility studies, academic and non-academic studies of air pollution and so on. Inconvenient truths for a Council that has relied for years on convenient untruths
But for now in this introduction just one concrete fact (with source material supporting the assertion made)
- The Edinburgh tram project WAS predicted, all the way back in 2003, to be the direct cause of worse air pollution in the city- This extract from the key report into the the project in the very early stages shows that in it's figures. The full report is also on our site.
Most people who see that table and the conclusions are astonished, and often struggle to make sense of it because it it is so counter to the entire Council publicity about the project and *commonsense*.
The fact is most councillors then , and now, still struggle to believe what the facts tell them.
Nnot just because they appear to be so counter-intuitive but also because of the implications for the Tram Project in which so much political capital as well as cash has been sunk.
It is now known that 205 deaths every year are attributed to the effects of air pollution in Edinburgh,
This was NOT known in 2003.
The Tram project was EXPECTED to raise levels of the pollutants across the city that cause these deaths (and of course many more chronic illnesses besides).
This WAS known in 2003.
Yet even now after pollution has risen inexorably up the the Public agenda, there is only silence from the Council.
In a way what can they do except feign ignorance?
The fact is they are busy preparing the way for *more tram*..and because the project will seize more road space; then more NO2 and more PM 2.5 and PM10s in residential streets and areas.
The extension of the tram project continues to be pushed through regardless of the expected effects on health and mortality rates; nothing is ever said about any of this in any public press releases by the council, nothing has ever been said.