Letters: Last chance for better value tram system is now leaving

Light Rail Group chairman Prof Lewis Lesley
Light Rail Group chairman Prof Lewis Lesley
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I read with disappointment the reported statements of Councillor Gordon Mackenzie about the approach from Professor Lewis Lesley of Trampower (I’ll build full tram route for same cost, News, January 2).

For Cllr Mackenzie (no relation) to say that “the idea will be going no further” is depressing to say the least, in the light of Scottish Government statements that it will take a generation for the trams to get to Leith.

It is essential for the first line to be completed to Newhaven as soon as possible and Professor Lesley’s system would enable the council to do just that.

Furthermore, when the line is completed it would become much more straightforward to add extensions and thereby build on the capital expenditure to date – no other branch lines would demand the digging up of Princes Street again.

I see Councillor Cardownie states that Trampower are “far too late in the day” . . . to “arrive on the scene”. He is apparently unaware that Trampower were promoting a tramway in Edinburgh more than ten years ago. Unfortunately at that time there were council officers who were fixed on guided busways and were not prepared to consider Professor Lesley’s proposals for the tramway.

With the passing of time and in the light of all that has happened in the last few years I would have hoped that such attitudes would have changed.

I fear that Edinburgh will either miss out on the vitally important extension of the tramway system or will get those extensions at the same inflated prices as we are now paying for the over-specified, over-engineered and over-priced system now coming into existence so tortuously.

Neil Mackenzie, Edinburgh

Believe the hype over Olympics

MARGO MacDonald voiced concerns that the Olympics are losing their true meaning as a result of all the hype around them (News, January 4).

I would contend that the Olympic ideals ARE the hype. Indeed the word ‘hype’ derives from hyper, a prefix of Greek origin meaning: to excess.

As the Olympic motto, Citius Altius Fortius illustrates, there is no compromise in the fight for Olympic victory, or as athletes put it: no pain, no gain.

As the host country, we have to pay the price of the challenging and costly preparations before wearing the symbolic olive winner’s wreath!

The effects of being in the global limelight are almost impossible to quantify precisely but are arguably invaluable to the UK as a whole.

Surpassing one’s capabilities is what athletic effort is about. London entered the bid race and won.

The UK cannot now miss the chance of showcasing its powerful capital city in the most extravagant and bold way. That is the nature of Olympic competition from the outset: discipline, excellence and competition in the stadium, arena and Olympic Park!

Dr Eleni Theodoraki, Edinburgh Napier University Business School, Edinburgh

It’s time to jump overboard now

THE sum of £270 million has just been spent on an Olympic aquatics centre in London while we have struggled to find £300,000 to keep Leith Waterworld. The quicker we get away from the London establishment the better.

J Munro, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh

Met Office part of the conspiracy

THE Met Office only issued an “amber” alert before Scotland was battered by hurricane-force winds.

Only two hours after the storm hit did our national forecaster upgrade to a “red” alert.

The Met Office has spent many millions of pounds on super-computers to predict what the weather will do but has failed miserably on numerous occasions.

The Met Office are part of the “climate change conspiracy” with their computers telling us that unless mankind changes its ways we are doomed. No doubt someone will rush to blame climate change for these storms.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also have super-computers designed to strike fear into the public and force us to pay green taxes to “save the planet”.

Strange how only the EU nations have signed legally binding CO2 emission reduction targets while the rest of the world grows their economies and emissions.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow