Letters: Only constant in this tram debacle is inconsistency

Work is to restart in Shandwick Place
Work is to restart in Shandwick Place
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Every tram decision, every volte face, has left the citizens of Edinburgh worse off and with bleaker prospects. Like drunken gamblers in the last chance saloon, having lost all their chips, they prepare to cash in on their remaining financial asset – Lothian Buses.

With their proven ability to effectively manage a major infrastructure project, allied to their expertise in always deciding on the “dream” option, perhaps they should set their sights higher – like making a bid for the Olympics, or something equally outrageous. Their collective vanity deserves a world stage.

Like most in Edinburgh, I am not fundamentally against having trams, but it’s been a long time since I have heard a convincing cost/benefit case being put forward. All we have are increasingly clumsy attempts to get some sort of line completed and use any tactic to make us use it. Ignore public opinion, ignore the business already ruined and the ones still to be ruined, and disregard the effects on our bus service. Lose the debt in the balance sheet.

I have just returned from Bordeaux where there is a very good integrated tram/bus system, tracks running on beautiful wide boulevards. By comparison, our streets seem too narrow – by far.

This project was flawed from conception. The layout of Edinburgh city centre is just not suitable for a modern tram network, without some truly drastic and unpalatable demolition.

My business is in Shandwick Place. Due to our experience of the chaotic mismanagement of the utilities moving phase, all medium and small businesses in the area are very fearful of the impact of future works.

We do not believe there will be future benefits to compensate for the pain to come. But, if it must happen, please do it quickly, efficiently and without complete road closures.

Jim Gow, Au Bar, Shandwick Place

Staff deserve to be in spotlight

Regarding your article on Edinburgh being nominated as Council of the Year, I do fully recognise how many city residents and businesses feel about the tram project, which has been and still is a very serious and challenging issue.

However, the council also provides a huge range of services that touch on the lives of all those who live in, work in or visit Edinburgh. This nomination highlights the excellent work done by thousands of our hard-working staff. Many of those staff read your newspaper and I take this opportunity to recognise their commitment and the benefits their efforts provide to the people of Edinburgh.

Sue Bruce, chief executive, Edinburgh City Council

New town puts us on road to ruin

I WRITE regarding Rory Reynolds’ article on the “new town” outside Musselburgh (Plan for new ‘town’ of 1200 homes outside Musselburgh, News, September 1).

Andrew Fisher of Ashfield Land maintains there will be “a lot of local community benefits”. Perhaps Mr Fisher will indicate more clearly what these will be. These will be very difficult to find and willcertainly not help with transport.

The road system in and around Musselburgh struggles to cope with existing demand. Transport in the area will be completely gridlocked with an extra 1200 houses and 15 exit routes out of the scheme.

The main road out of Musselburgh to the east will be diverted through the new estate. Transport moving through Musselburgh is virtually at a standstill now. On racedays no one moves anywhere fast, even at the present level of usage.

The train service close to the park-and-ride is now so heavily used by commuters that hardly any seats exist for existing travellers, in either direction. What happens if another 1200 people want to use the train service?

What are the new commercial and employment opportunities/benefits mentioned by Mr Fisher – a supermarket and a few shops? That is all that is on view in the current plan. Where are the new health facilities for all the people who will be in these houses?

The local community does not need this development.

C Maclean, Ravensheugh Road, Musselburgh