Letters: Traffic plans a consequence of botched trams project

Councillor Jim Lowrie’s objective of “putting the Capital on the road to a healthier future” (News, March 7) is laudable.

However, he ignores the somewhat inconvenient truth that increased air pollution in “the Southern Arc” has arisen, in no small part, from the displacement of traffic during protracted tram works, which would likely worsen once the trams start to operate.

Rumours have long abounded regarding TIE’s and the council’s inability to design acceptable traffic solutions at key locations, such as Haymarket, once the tram commences operations and the Tram Final Business Case sets out clearly that much of the city would experience higher levels of air pollution post-tram.

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It is, therefore, disingenuous of Cllr Lowrie to suggest that his motives are entirely altruistic when they arise as a direct adverse consequence of a project which he and Edinburgh City Council have inflicted upon the city!

As to the solutions which Cllr Lowrie now suggests, if he were to run their own VISUM traffic model, he would clearly see that narrowing pavements and contraflow traffic on existing one-way streets would slow traffic further and add to the pollution created by traffic displaced by the tram.

Pedestrians and cyclists would be subjected to pollution levels well in excess of those currently permitted by EU legislation and well above the council’s ambitious reductions to those levels by 2020.

John RT Carson, Kirkliston Road, South Queensferry

Wind power is just not worth it

A NEW study, “Why Is Wind Power So Expensive”, by Professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University, must set alarm bells ringing and hopefully wake up our sleeping politicians.

Prof Hughes says a single turbine generating £150,000 of electricity is eligible for “monstrous subsidies” of £250,000 a year for 25 years and that the wind farm programme will cost electricity consumers £120 billion by 2020.

This is ten times more than the £13bn it would have cost from efficient gas-fired power stations.

Prof Hughes calculated that wind turbines would, at best, reduce the UK’s CO2 emissions by 2.8 per cent.

The UK only has 1.5 per cent of global emissions so 2.8 per cent of 1.5 per cent = 0.042 per cent (Scotland 0.0042).

So for that pitiful figure we are forcing manufacturing abroad, creating fuel poverty and ruining any chance of economic recovery.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Scots would be in a strong position

CONTRARY to Donald McBride’s view on Trident after independence (Letters, March 5), the reality is that UK defence chiefs concede that there is no obvious location to base Trident in England, Any move would be at an astronomical cost, and therefore our Scottish government would have a very strong negotiating position in respect of the removal of Trident from Scottish waters.

Also, the recent dip in Scottish oil production is down to the financial changes introduced by the UK government, but the actual taxation revenues for this year will increase, as anyone who has filled their car up with petrol can testify.

Of course oil prices fluctuate, that’s why Scotland should emulate Norway and introduce a Sovereign Wealth Fund to even out such fluctuations. It could be used to stimulate manufacturing jobs, which successive London governments have failed to do.

Calum Stewart, Montague Street, Edinburgh

Would you line up with this lot?

OVER the last week we have seen a Nationalist MSP comparing the relationship between Scotland and England to domestic violence, and an SNP activist saying dead British soldiers were child killers.

What kind of people are they?

Also, look at some of Alex Salmond’s closest supporters –

n Sean Connery – tax exile

n Brian Souter – Keep the Clause campaigner

n Rupert Murdoch – enough said!

n Donald Trump – oh no, they’ve fallen out!

I am sure that the Scottish people do not want the same kind of country as any of the above, so I hope they will think very carefully before putting their cross on a ballot paper.

Frank Russell, Broomhouse, Edinburgh