Off track

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Your report (3 May) on the imminent launch of the Edinburgh tram system is accompanied by a Tramline Timeline that gives a history of trams in Edinburgh dating back to 1871, but omits to mention the scheme which would have been the ideal solution for Edinburgh’s transport problems. It even gained parliamentary approval, despite which our vision-challenged council failed to take action. Had it proceeded with the plan devised by Edinburgh University’s internationally renowned Professor of Civil Engineering, Arnold Hendry, we would now have a world-class light rail network on dedicated lines serving around 80 per cent of the citizenry, instead of the overpriced on-street toytown airport link we seem to have ended up with.

Moreover, since it envisaged the re-use of abandoned railway tunnels and culverts, including the south suburban rail line, Hendry’s scheme would have avoided the disruption that tore up our streets and drove many businesses into bankruptcy. It would also have provided us with a system with speeds of up to 60mph, instead of the 20mph city crawl which will be our lot.

Arnold Hendry, who provided Edinburgh with a golden opportunity to build a metro system covering the whole city, died last year.

His proposal for a light rail network that Edinburgh failed to deliver should have been his memorial.

David J Black

St Giles Street