Letters: A bid led by Hoy could raise gold to upgrade velodrome

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As Scotland’s first medallist for cycling, which I achieved during the 1970 Commonwealth Games, I fully endorse the contents of the article written by Martin Hannan “We’ve not got a sporting chance” (News, August 7).

With all the publicity being generated by Sir Chris Hoy, maybe, just maybe, he could influence the powers that be to find ways of raising funds required to re-establish the velodrome as a first class venue.

If successful, that would, dare I say it, raise the roof for all the present and future riders at Meadowbank.

The other “spin-off” from all the feelgood factor being generated by the Olympic Games, could be a fundraising campaign, that may put added pressure on our elected leaders, again possibly fronted by Sir Chris Hoy.

Brian Temple, Edinburgh

Sheffield’s lesson not learned here

I WAS amazed to read that Lesley Hinds still has faith in the business case for trams (News, August 8).

After the failure of congestion charging, Labour’s business case for the trams was in tatters long before any work began and that is why the SNP voted against the tram scheme both in Scottish Parliament and in the city council.

The financial position would be even worse if Labour’s plan to end the line at Haymarket had ever seen the light of day.

Due to escalating build costs, there is no viable 
business case and the tram line will be a constant drain on council resources unless extortionate bus fares are charged to pay for the route.

I predict it will be sold off for a nominal sum within three years just as happened in Sheffield, a lesson that was ignored by those in favour of the project.

Janice Thompson, Walter Scott Avenue, Edinburgh

Doubt over bus service facilities

I AM sure that many others like myself are wondering why it will require a closure of 14 months due to the tram works in York Place, and also about what arrangements are being made for long-distance bus services running to and from the city.

It has been indicated that from September, when York Place is closed to buses, that it will probably be relocated to part of St Andrew Square and Waterloo Place. I am interested in the details.

As these are long-distance services often with changes of coaches, along with numerous tour buses, what details have been worked out?

Are bus shelters going to be provided? What provision for toilets, luggage lockers and catering facilities is going to be available?

The only access to and from the bus station is from Elder Street.

On completion of the tram works, buses arriving from the west will require to cross two sets of tram rails to turn right to enter the bus station. Is this going to cause further disruption to traffic?

In my opinion the whole tram project has been a complete fiasco and waste of money from the start, foisted on the citizens of Edinburgh by councillors who had no conception of what would be involved and the disruption it would cause.

John M Tulloch, Duddingston Park South, Edinburgh

SNP in London for joint enterprise

Jill Gordon writes about Alex Salmond’s influence over Scotland House at the Army and Navy Club in London (Letters, August 9).

Contrary to what she says, this is a partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, EventScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Creative Scotland, Sportscotland, with input from Marketing Edinburgh and Scotland Food and Drink and held over 40 events to promote inward investment to Scotland and Edinburgh.

If Jill Gordon is concerned about taxpayers’ cash, she should be calling for the scrapping of the Scotland Office in London. Its remit has shrunk since devolution but its budget and staffing costs have spiralled out of control, mainly used to attack the Scottish Government.

Or what about the recent UK Treasury advert for an overtly political adviser based in Edinburgh to attack the pro-independence campaign at £50,000 a year plus office costs for a post which will end just after the referendum?

Calum Stewart, Montague Street, Edinburgh