Letters: Capital off track

WITH reference to Jim Knight and Alastair Maxwell-Irving (Letters, 21 May), our reasons for not supporting the tram project are as follows.

Edinburgh though being a capital is relatively small compared to most cities with trams. The reduced scheme, assuming it does reach St Andrew Square, has only three stops after Haymarket: one at Coates Crescent, one near Frederick Street and the third in St Andrew Square, so is unlikely to pick up many local passengers in that area. It is in fact not much more than a toy tram scheme.

Having experienced the trams in Croydon, they are noisy and sway about quite a lot. No doubt the tram lobby will quote the waste of money so far if more money is not obtained to complete it to St Andrew Square. We would point out that the vast amount of money spent so far has been used to renew old service pipes and cables long overdue for replacement. This is in fact the only good thing to come out of the whole project.

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The City of Edinburgh Council, having pushed through the tram scheme without holding a referendum, will end up with egg on its face whatever the outcome, which is deserved due to the lack of expertise in handling major public works. In our view, the project should be scrapped.


Duddingston Park South



What Scottish enlightenment did Jim Knight bring to readers in his letter? "The tram project must go ahead" because if cancelled: (1) there would be no trams and (2) Scotland's reputation in the world would suffer.

Answer to posit (1): use electric, battery-powered buses – no fixed routes, no rails, no overhead wires. Answer to posit (2): rest of the world's answer, similar to Rhett Butler's in Gone with the Wind – "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".

Why do "politicians" sign us up to deals with a bucket full of holes? Provided they don't change any of the specifications, projects should be completed for the contractual price.

At a much greater cost to every one of us, was the UK government's deal for two aircraft carriers which would cost more to cancel than to accept delivery. There is a third option. We could accept delivery of the trams, and like Nimrods and Harriers, destroy them afterwards.


Coates House


The original study on which the network was founded said categorically that trams are not suitable vehicles to serve an airport. Why has the airport become such a key part of the scheme? There is an excellent bus service with which passengers are well satisfied.

Despite asking many officials and councillors, I have not been given an answer to the question "where will the power come from?" All seem to have taken it for granted that the system can just plug into the mains and there it will be. However, in other connections, we are warned that there could be shortage of power as the feted windmills have been found wanting and power companies are warning there will be large rises in price.

This resembles the withdrawal of our long-standing (and excellent) trams in the 1950s. Only a few months after the last tram ran (ceremonially), what should happen but the Suez crisis and fuel became hard to get – also much dearer. Looks as if any tram system which might eventually emerge would have many outside problems, not least the running costs.


Colinton Grove