Trams ‘as glamorous as Venice rail’

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The Capital’s trams are “potentially the most glamorous stretch of European public transport – barring the vaporetto on Venice’s Grand Canal”, according to a former SNP MSP.

Professor Christopher Harvie backed calls from former Scottish Enterprise chairman Sir Donald Mackay for the airport to York Place line to be extended, saying: “Tourists dinnae give a hoot about past melodramas, so if you’ve got it, flaunt it”.

The former Mid Scotland and Fife MSP, who opposed his party’s attempt to scrap the trams after they came to power in 2007, called for the original line to Newhaven to be completed and another from the city centre to the Royal Infirmary to be built.

“The tram is there and must be used to advantage,” he said. “Sir Donald is right to cite the success of Dublin’s Luas [tram system] and prioritise extensions to Leith and the infirmary, and with interest rates in the cellar now is the time to do it.”

The Haymarket to St Andrew Square section of the line would be a major visitor draw, he predicted.

Sir Donald proposed completing the line to Newhaven by 2017, then extending it.