Wednesday, 27 June 2012

We Built This City On All Your Souls

Fellow Edinburgh inhabitants, you have probably been surprised that I have hardly mentioned the most controversial thing to hit the city in the past decade. I live around Haymarket, so it affects me on a personal level, and indeed has caused me more rage in the past year or so than the mere existence of Crocs ever could hope to achieve.

Yes. I'm talking about the tramworks.

For those of you who don't know, some time ago Edinburgh City Council decided that it would be a very good idea (read: horrific thought) to destroy the entire foundations of the roads (you know, those grey paths that cars, buses and cyclists use to get around when they are not flying) covering a huge part of the city, to make way for trams.

The project, they assured us, would set Edinburgh apart! It would make it shiny and fresh and somewhere cool that people want to visit - since no tourists ever come here, except for those few months every year when we host a massive festival full of performing arts, music, food and literature and are swamped with about half a million extra visitors (and then all the other months of the year when we have masses of stuff going on too and a constant stream of people on holiday enjoying the city). Apart from that though! Nothing! It's like the Marie Celeste! No wonder they came up with this brilliant idea (read: you are all dillholes and the amount of sheer loathing I have for you threatens to overspill from my soul on a daily basis).

You know what I have to say to your idea?

I don't normally rant that much in any post, but this genuinely winds me up to astronomical levels.

My bedroom, for many months, overlooked one of the areas being dug up, tarmacked, re-dug, considered, left for dead, filled in, and then re-dug again in a fit of what I can only imagine is pure whimsy on the part of the overseers.

The above poster, which I saw on the way to work one day and loved so much that I almost smothered the glass with tiny fervent otterkisses of smug satisfaction, pretty much sums up how everyone else feels about the tramworks. The thing is, we didn't want them. We didn't ask for them. And if we had known not only how much the entire project was going to cost the taxpayer, but how utterly enraging it would be to every inhabitant, and how long it would drag on beyond the expected deadline for completion, I think we'd have petitioned to bring back public flogging. At the very least, we'd have thrown some soft vegetables and Irn Bru mush in the faces of those responsible. And it would be no less than they deserve.


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