This blog post was originally published at the Subrosa blog and is reproduced here with permissions
They’ve done it again.
The Councillors in Edinburgh. This time they have “vetoed” (are you impressed with the use of the most overused word in the past 24 hours word? How topical am I?) the planning application for the hovercraft service which would run between Kirkcaldy and Portobello. Apparently the plans were rejected due to the visual impact of the proposed ramp, noise and transport concerns.
If you are not familiar with the area where the ramp would be thenhere’s a quick heads up. It is down at Seafield, not far from the sewage plant, just along a bit from the Dog and Cat Home and the bus depot. Obviously this is a high amenity area (not). Notice also the cited transport concerns. The ramp isn’t far from the bus depot. The Lothian Buses bus depot. Where they park the buses at night and work on them. Where buses come and go all day long.
The service was trialed a couple of years ago. The deal was you could go down and get on for free I think and get a return trip. Millions of pensioners queued up to get on the hovercraft. The test worked fine.
It’s a no brainer. It’s a great idea, it would be an interesting thing to do and it would help commuters and reduce road congestion. It would also use the river which would be a very good thing.
It has draw backs however, or at least it has draw backs if you are an Edinburgh Councillor. The hovercraft apparently doesn’t need rails to run on. Therefore there is no requirement to dig up the Forth causing major traffic jams. No shops will close due to it’s non construction either.
Another aspect of unsuitability is of course cost. It’s likely to cost very little. If it’s cheap the other cities of the UK won’t be impressed so no point in doing it then.
Seriously, it’s now well overdue for someone to take Edinburgh Councillors aside and offer them an offer they can’t refuse. Basically they need to get their act together or they’ll be sent to Brighton.
Maybe they’d be too weird even for Brighton? There’s always Naples though. I feel sure we could find a suitable City for them to “improve”. Kabul? Tehran? Now they must need trams.