Letters: Don’t let tram extension cause more road chaos

Spend money on road improvements, not more tramlines. Picture: Julie Bull
Spend money on road improvements, not more tramlines. Picture: Julie Bull
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Being a taxi driver in Edinburgh for the last 32 years, I was shocked to read in the Evening News that councillors are considering extending the tramline.

For nearly a decade whilst under construction, the most common complaint with my passengers was that the people of Edinburgh had no voice and were not consulted in the trams’ introduction.

Surely after all these years of upheaval and road closures they are not expecting Edinburgh citizens to go through this all over again. Originally being from Leith myself, I was heartbroken to see businesses in the same family for generations going bust because of the works for the trams.

I have over the years watched our beautiful Edinburgh being turned into something that looked like a war zone.

Monies available should be spent on improving road systems instead of more trams. Central Edinburgh and all the roads around the city resemble the surface of the moon with holes of various sizes.

Craters and debris damage many of its citizens’ vehicles costing them their own money to repair. I think it is time the council listened and let Edinburgh people have their say, because at the end of the day it’s their city NOT the council’s.

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said months ago she was going to sort out the shambles with the traffic lights in the city centre.

This chaos is caused by the trams having priority at the junctions, resulting in delays of up to 5 and 6 minutes and longer at lights, bringing everything to a standstill.

So, Lesley, let’s see some action to get this matter resolved. We are all waiting.

Philip Capaldi, Fairmilehead

HS2 rail link will never come to Scotland

SCOTTISH ministers have complained that Scotland is being left behind over the high speed rail link.

I suspect that the report into extending HS2 to Scotland is likely to be little more than political appeasement.

Notes of the HS2 Ltd Strategic Challenge Panel meeting from February 2012 stated, “The panel discussed the case for extending the Y network further northwards. In economic case terms, there would be diminishing returns of a route north of the Y that is proposed, given that centres of population are less concentrated north of Lancashire and Yorkshire.”

Given that diminishing returns to the economic case are the last thing that the Government wants, it seems most improbable that any serious consideration will be being given to extending the route north of Leeds/Manchester in the foreseeable future, unless there is some overriding political imperative that outweighs the uproar that a negative impact on the business case would create.

I bet Cameron was laughing behind his teeth as he posed on the steps of No 10 with the Scottish Council chiefs, knowing that, even if HS2 got as far as Manchester, there was precious little hope of it going any further . . .

Unless, of course, the EU subsidised the extension by coughing up a big fat cheque to allow the UK to meet its obligations under TEN-T, even if there was no business case for it.

Michael Woodhouse, Ingestre, Staffordshire

Now we have more oil fields to worry about!

Two new oil fields discovered in the North Sea....

Oh dear, more problems for Scotland to deal with. How will we cope ?

John Baillie, Allanvale Road, Prestwick

Cameron’s EU outrage over bill is ridiculous

The mock shock expressed by David Cameron that the UK should pay an additional £1.7bn into the European Union budget on December 1 is laughable. This payment was known about by the Treasury last week and was not in fact ‘sprung’ on the Prime Minister.

In addition, the increase is based on an annual review of the economic performance of the member states based on a new mechanism of internationally agreed accounting rules.

These rules, the European System of National and Regional Accounts, date from 2010 and were introduced in September 2014. Its main impact was to include more financial and capital transactions into measures of national wealth.

The potential impact of these rules on how much the UK would have to pay into EU coffers was, therefore, well established and agreed to.

It may be viewed as being perverse that the UK is having to pay more because of the performance of the UK economy. However, as with many things EU related, the UK should have not have signed up to such rules if it was not willing to abide by them, or at least made its concerns known earlier.

What the embarrassing timing of this whole affairs demonstrates is that while Mr Cameron is looking for wholesale reform of the EU, he has very few allies in the corridors of power in Brussels.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

No guarantees in Darling’s constituency

I am intrigued by your news story on who wants Alistair Darling’s Edinburgh South West MP seat and the relative merits of councillors Ricky Henderson and Norma Austin Hart as Labour candidates (‘Darling’s resignation triggers fight for seat’, News, November 4.

However, I thought it was the voters who decided. And it may be that voters decide that another candidate for another party suits them better.

Gavin Corbett, Green Councillor for Fountainbridge - Craiglockhart