Buses are best
The excellent article by Ken Houston (“Take the bus in future”, 18 July) is the best resumé of the lack of vision and misguided decision-making that preceded the Edinburgh tram project.
No-one can say the administration was not warned, yet it was beguiled by flash presentations from those who wanted to sell the concept and the then council fell for it hook, line and sinker.
What has now happened, as Ken Houston clearly points out, is that our outstanding bus service has been put at risk by leaders who desperately wanted to have a vanity project, which actually failed to satisfy the realistic transport requirement and has delivered a meagre connection between the airport and the city centre.
The hugely increased cost of even this truncated line will cripple the finances of the city for years to come. As Houston points out, the passenger figures for other networks have tended to be grossly over-inflated and it is almost certain that this will happen in Edinburgh.
The result will be further pressure on the transport budget and an even greater need to provide a subsidy for the trams. This can only lead to a degrading of our bus fleet and to the service it provides.
The possible solution which may be lurking in the minds of some in the City Chambers, is that Brian Souter will come to the rescue and take the tram line and all the excessive rolling stock off their hands.
However, Houston spells out what will happen if this takes place – but even if it does not, there will be no chance to accumulate a fund to buy new trams when these are needed. We should have stayed with the bus.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west