Letters: Be brave and make it end of the line for tram project

Some years ago, I, unlike my fellow Lothian Buses directors at the time, spoke out against the guided busway project. Try finding the busway now.

It was built with a great deal of financial assistance and involved Lothian Buses having to modify vehicles to operate on it. Money thrown away, but not nearly on the scale of the tram project.

It does appear that regarding politicians and officials we have a combination similar to that when our banks went bust. Tram personnel have all quietly slipped away into the horizon taking with them rewards for failure, which the average man and woman would not see in a lifetime. These Reginald Perrins were allowed to escape without any accountability!

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Those in power must be in possession of accurate facts and details in order to vote for or against. My advice to them is scrap the project and at least salvage the route to and from the airport by transforming it into a city ring road, effectively creating a second bypass.

Politicians should also remember that the project is only a line which when operational would be not financially viable but would have a severe financial effect on Lothian Buses.

Be brave, vote it down.

Peter J Sargent (former employee director, Lothian Buses), Corstorphine

Nothing normal about this glitch

I WRITE in support of Jenny Dawe's comments in describing the cost overruns as a "small glitch" (News, June 27).

Well, it would be a small glitch if we were dealing with a normal tram project, but clearly things are not normal here.

In a normal project, there would be all-party support from the start.

There would be a political will to deal with the traffic problems in West Edinburgh, rather than accept them as inevitable.

There would be a watertight contract with the constructors. There would be anger at the disruption caused by street works, as in Dublin, but once the trams are running, clamour for extensions. There would be no perceived or real threat to the bus services, as these would be seen as a service, and not a business.

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I am still waiting to hear the alternative plan from the tram opponents. What are they going to do about expansion at the airport, increasing employment in Edinburgh Park and South Gyle, the increasing cost of oil, the increasing CO2 emissions from transport and lack of spare capacity at Waverley for extra train services?

Opponents should ask why Manchester is building three new tramways at once, and extensions are also under way in Birmingham, Nottingham and Dublin.Arthur Homan-Elsy, Deanburn Road, Linlithgow

Salute to brave Armed Forces

MARVELLOUS to see the various and colourful events celebrating Armed Forces Day in Edinburgh at the weekend.

It is spectacles like these which remind us of how fortunate we are to have such a dedicated body of men and women who are not only willing and ready to fight for their country but are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Britain remains a strong nation and those who chose to put their life on the line for their country must not be forgotten or neglected.

Angus McGregor, Edinburgh

We're paying but nobody asked us

WITH the news that the UN has issued warrants against Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi for crimes against humanity, I am beginning to think we live in some parallel world where reality exists only in financial elitists' ability to express it.

There have been more than 5000 UN sorties in support of the insurrectionists against the legitimate Libyan government and the civilian population, yet the UN is threatening to put Gaddafi on trial in its cloud-cuckoo-land clown court in the Hague. I cannot think of anything more sadistic.

But who pays the wages for bombarding Libya? The British taxpayers, who are denied any say in how their money is being wasted in these unprovoked attacks on wretched Third World countries.

William Burns, Pennywell Road, Edinburgh