I am grateful to John Carson for correcting me on the Nottingham tram statistics (Letters, 27 August); the latest figures do indeed show a drop in patronage.
The operating company has attributed this to the combined local effects of the recession in the East Midlands and the withdrawal of various multi-modal tickets because of tightening competition rules.
Nevertheless, the same Department for Transport (DfT) report to which Mr Carson refers highlights that light rail use in England continues to rise, with an overall growth of 9 per cent in 2012-13, reaching the highest ever level in the modern era of 222 million passenger trips.
The DfT report also shows that the Nottingham tram earned £8.5 million in revenue in 2012-13.
Last week’s report to the City of Edinburgh Council estimates a total revenue of £7.7m from the first year of tram operation, of which two-thirds is anticipated from “premium” fares to the airport, with only £2.4m coming from the normal £1.50 fare.
This estimate of income translates to total patronage figures of around 3 million trips, a very cautious expectation, and well below the 7.4 million trips made in Nottingham in 2012-13.
Given that Mr Carson has long campaigned against the trams, and I have long supported them, we will just have to wait and see whether pessimism or optimism is the better philosophy to follow.
Primrose Bank Road