I have recently been very exercised this week by the announcement of a “trial” traffic measure running for the next 18 months.
It will ban cars outside six Edinburgh schools for an hour at the beginning and end of each day. I’m sorry, a trial? What’s to trial?
As a father of four, I absolutely understand that my little bundles of joy need to get to school safely.
My kids have always walked to school, just as I did, and my father before me.
When I was young, I was accompanied and, when I reached the grand age of 10, I went alone. As Dad used to say to me: “It’s character building.”
However, it appears from the traffic jams outside our schools that I may be in the minority.
Hundreds of cars file down inadequate roads, with parents parking as close to the gates as possible to release Angus and Skye from their protective cocoon.
Do parents not stop to think of the damage their cars do to our children?
Kids get knocked down and they breathe in horrific levels of pollution.
And that’s not to mention the inconvenience to nearby residents who have to put up with the school run twice a day.
This week saw Friends of the Earth raise the estimate of the number of people dying from air pollution from 2400 to 3500 a year in Scotland.
The charity are calling for low-emission zones in major cities with air quality problems by 2018.
Sarah Boyack MSP, Labour’s environmental justice spokeswoman, said: “This is a major public health risk and the toll is unacceptable.”
So I am forced to ask Edinburgh City Council: What’s to trial and why are you not exercising common sense and just implementing a ban at all schools?
Are there not enough dead people or is there a lack of evidence of harm?
Perhaps it is that we are now wedded to endless consultation, making conviction politics a rare commodity.