Tram fine ideas

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The Edinburgh tram wasn’t a triumph for anyone but the excellent Basque workers at CAF who produced the cars on schedule and on cost. The TIE farce must be inquired into and guilt apportioned. But the tram is there and it must be used to advantage.

Sir Donald MacKay (Perspective, 24 September) is right to cite the success of Dublin’s Luas and prioritise extensions to Leith and the Infirmary, and with interest rates in the cellar, now is the time to do this.

A high-speed rail route in tunnel under the wayleave of the old Suburban Line (with a circle tram on the existing route) could achieve the Abercrombie Report’s goal of a high-performance, high-capacity station.

The St Andrew Square- Haymarket route is potentially the most glamorous stretch of European public transport – barring the vaporetto on Venice’s Grand Canal. Even the famous San Francisco cable cars (devised by the Scot Andrew Hallidie) haven’t that view.

Tourists dinnae give a hoot about past melodramas, so if you’ve got it, flaunt it! In Frisco you can also travel from Ferry Terminal to Fishery Quarter by modern trams, or grand old cars from Melbourne, Chicago or Milan. So why not a similar experience here? Spring Scotland’s trams from the prison-house of the Riverside Museum and let the Gondolas of the People strut their stuff!

(Prof) Christopher Harvie

High Cross Avenue

Melrose