Friday 21 November 2003

Pull the finger out

Today I read of yet another example of our inability to organise a proper infrastructure:
GROWING fears of gridlock on the west side of Edinburgh today prompted demands for government action to prevent traffic grinding to a halt.

Up to 20,000 extra jobs could soon be located along the A8 corridor, but the road system is already struggling to cope with existing commuters.

There is a huge amount of investment going on to the west of Edinburgh, in particular the construction of the new world headquarters for the Royal Bank of Scotland. The neighbouring airport is getting busier all the time with our first scheduled transatlantic flights starting next spring. I wrote the other day about the endless delays in opening the new Edinburgh Park railway station. Why do transport links take so long to get built?
The Royal Bank headquarters, employing more than 3000 people, is due to open in 2006, but trams serving the west of the city won’t be running until 2009 and a rail link to the airport is scheduled for 2010.
It's all very well to call for "government action" but it's government bureaucracy that's behind all of these problems. When I lived in London there was a plan to resignal the Central Line. If I recall correctly it was to take 10 years to complete. I seem to remember someone pointing out that the Victorians had built the whole line in three years! We should be building the necessary transport links to be ready before the opening of these new developments.