A lamentable lack of thought on public transport

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BACK in August I used this column to complain that the once fine city of Edinburgh looked worse than a bombsite and was giving tourists the absolute worst impression of our country.

Three months later and the situation has not improved one iota and any first time visitors to what remains our country’s capital must wonder what on earth is going on.

It pains many to think that all of this palaver will only result in a tram line running from Edinburgh airport to Edinburgh city centre - a route that is already served by several fast and frequent bus services, and one that only a tiny minority of residents will ever find use for. In other words, this new tram system will be like a boxer with no arms - worse than useless.

It should be remembered that is all the fault of the long-gone politicians who decided to rip-up Edinburgh’s existing tram system in 1956.

The same thing happened in Glasgow, in Dundee and right here in Falkirk.

Short-sighted, self-interested representatives - many of whom with shares in bus companies and road building firms - decided that mass-transit systems were a thing of the past, and with a few strokes of their pens destroyed tramways that had taken decades to build up.

The result? Abysmal privatised bus services like the one we must now endure in Falkirk.

Visit any major town or city in Europe chances are you’ll be able to hop on a decent tram or underground system.

London is the only place in the UK that has a system worth using - mainly as its where most politicians live themselves.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are left to get on with it. Can’t afford a car? Then you better start walking.

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