IF Steve Cardownie is committed to eco-friendly public transport, why does he propose hydrogen buses (Tram plan just does not add up, Evening News, June 18), which are about as efficient as old-fashioned steam locomotives, and hybrid buses, which still emit unhealthy pollutants in our streets?
Trams and trolleybuses emit no pollution at street level, are six times more efficient than hydrogen vehicles, and even when electricity generation is considered, create less CO2 than either hydrogen or hybrid buses.
If the SNP thinks trams are too expensive, why doesn't it propose modern trolleybuses? The total cost would be about half that of trams.
Using backup batteries, modern trolleybuses can run without wires when required, e.g. in historic city centres, as in Rome.
As trolleybuses use similar electrical equipment to trams and could use the Newbridge depot, some of the work done so far could be saved, and the "brain drain" referred to by Cllr Wheeler could be partially averted.
State-of-the-art, tram-style trolleybuses are set to run in Leeds following the Westminster government's refusal to fund their "Supertram". According to promoters West Yorkshire Metro, the trolleybus network will "deliver many of the congestion-busting benefits that Supertram would have provided, with greater flexibility for future extension into other areas".
I don't want Edinburgh to lose out on clean, green, attractive electric transport because trams are deemed too expensive and politicians aren't aware of the more affordable alternative of modern trolleybuses. To try to prevent this happening, I've created www.scottishelectrictransit.org.uk.
David Sterratt, Scottish Electric Transit, Bellevue Road, Edinburgh
Trams can follow Dublin's success
I HAVE returned from Dublin, where I have been working. There I commuted to my work by the efficient and hugely popular Luas tram system. I was therefore greatly encouraged by the sight of the News and the front page headline "Get on with it!" about our own tram system (June 20).
I had plenty of time to read your articles and think about the Edinburgh tram as I travelled slowly into the city on a congested road, and I thought how much better things will be when we have a congestion-free tramway from the airport, via the growing employment centres of Gogar and west Edinburgh to the new housing along the Waterfront and into the city centre.
The Edinburgh tram has been the subject of extensive development work, it has been debated before the council, it has been the subject of exhaustive (and exhausting) examination before committees of our Parliament, it has been debated on the floor of Parliament.
The small-minded nay-sayers have made their objections, they have been listened to and their arguments rejected.
An incoming government claimed it knew better than the professionals and said the project was out of financial control, but the review by Audit Scotland rejects that claim. Opponents have had their arguments refuted and they have been unable to offer any sensible alternative to the tram.
I feel that a period of constructive silence from these folk should now follow and the tram lines should be built - in their entirety. I have no doubt that the Edinburgh scheme can be as popular and successful as that in Dublin and that within a few months of its opening their will be calls for its extension to other areas of our city.
Scott McIntosh, East Terrace, South Queensferry, Edinburgh
Holidays in Nice were not so nice
LIKE Marjorie Thomas, (Your views, June 20), I too have been lucky to visit the beautiful city of Nice, and she is quite correct that large parts of the main thoroughfares are being dug up.
I also visited in 2006 when large parts of the thoroughfares were being dug up. Guess what! In 2005 we could not even gain entrance to our hotel parking area because large parts of the thoroughfares were being dug up.
Graham Taylor-Thoumire, Weir Court, Eskbank
Don't count on EARL happening
SO Audit Scotland has confirmed what most of us already knew - the trams are a prudent scheme, on schedule, and on budget, while EARL is the opposite, and probably never going to happen.
If Audit Scotland had also been empowered to take into account sustainability and climate change, they would have also found that trams take people out of their cars like no other form of public transport, and that the rail link to the airport does nothing but make flying easier and undermine the trams' finances.
The SNP need to drop their opposition to the trams, and Labour and the Lib Dems need to drop their support for EARL. This would be best for the city - why is it that so far only the Greens take this sensible position?
James Mackenzie, Marchmont Street, Edinburgh
Keep the heat on sauna operators
THE Evening News suggests that the Planning Committee ignored the objections of residents when it approved a planning application for a sauna in Dalkeith Road in 2000, (Neighbours sweat over sauna plans, June 20). Nothing could be further from the truth.
The vast majority of objections were from residents who feared that the premises would in fact be run as a brothel.
For this reason the committee attached a condition that the premises should be run as a bona-fide sauna and not for purposes of prostitution. This seems to have been remarkably successful in preventing the premises being used as a brothel.
As chair of the committee at the time I should add that this condition was imposed by councillors against the recommendation of officials who said the application should be granted without any conditions.
All that is now required is for the planning committee to have the courage that its predecessors did in 2000 and attach a similar condition.
Robert Cairns, Ratcliffe Terrace, Edinburgh
Scriptwriters are lacking in morality
YOUR article "Eastenders baby plot slammed" (June 19) propelled me to write.
I am a member of Mediawatch - UK, an organisation which continues to do the good work of the late Mrs Mary Whitehouse. She tried so hard to clean up that square box in the corner, sadly since her death TV has hit rock bottom!
Supposedly, we have a nine o'clock watershed, meant to protect our children from sleazy adult material! Nine o'clock watershed? What nine o'clock watershed?
The worst offenders are the three main British soaps Emmerdale at 7pm, Coronation Street at 7.30pm and Eastenders at 8pm. Like many viewers, I was shocked and sickened by the ludicrous storyline in EastEnders, where the character is chained to a bed, and forced to have a C section!
Who are these sadistic and immoral scriptwriters? All three soaps' storylines, concentrate on bed-hopping, and binge drinking - if these obnoxious characters developed sexually transmitted diseases and liver damage, which in real life they do, then perhaps young people would get the message.
Mrs Sylvia M De Luca, Baberton Park, Juniper Green, Edinburgh
Book Festival sale of tickets a farce
I LOOK forward to the Book Festival and Fringe every year as it's the only time I have a social life due to my health.
This year, I decided I would get there on the first day of the sale of the tickets, presuming most people would be at work. It was a sight that was an absolute disgrace to the Festival organisers.
I arrived about 10.15 am. The queue stretched from Waterstone's almost to Charlotte Square. Elderly people were balancing on sticks, some I was informed had been there at 8am. I was too ill to take my place in such an unacceptable queue and went home to bed.
For the past few days I've phoned to book, yet the answer phone says they can't take more calls. How are the organisers allowed to do this to the public?
Elaine Pomeransky, Restalrig Gardens, Edinburgh
Help track down precious photos
I WONDER if any of your readers would be able to help me.
On Sunday June 17, I handed in a spool to be developed at Asda at the Jewel and when I went back to collect it, just after 1pm, I was horrified to find it had been given out in error to someone else.
I've since phoned them back but unfortunately there's no sign of the photos being returned.
I'm distraught as the photos were of my niece in the Gala at Port Seton and mean a lot. If any readers collected photos that don't belong to them from Asda, please hand them back to the shop.
I would be ever so grateful.
Irene Kinnaird, North High Street, Musselburgh