LETTERS: Three good reasons not to extend tram system

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THREE cheers to Raymond Ross for his comments about Edinburgh’s trams (‘Let’s admit trams were a mistake and move on’, Letters, November 18).

First, those monstrosities which are three times the length of a bus and resemble land trains clog up Princes Street, which is already busy with buses and taxis.

Second, the system is not a network but a single tram line with but one destination, the airport, which is already served by bus and taxi.

Finally I hope the tram line is never extended to Newhaven. We have seen enough evidence of the inability of the council to handle large projects, without enduring more years of civic mismanagement and disruption to a once beautiful capital city.

Ian Brownwight, Clark Place, Edinburgh

Gig ticket mark-ups still cheating fans

Anyone who thought that the latest review into the re-selling of concert tickets would stop the second hand ticket market was sadly misinformed.

Despite Adele tickets only being available on some advance sites – to try to ensure “real” fans get the tickets before the general sale – loads for Glasgow and other cities are available, from £280 each on sites like Seatwave and Get Me In.

Considering the least expensive tickets were less than £40, once again these “secondary sites” have grabbed far more tickets than they should have.

To try to stop touts, systems are in place so that whoever purchased the tickets has to turn up on the night with photographic evidence to get other ticketholders past security, but this hasn’t deterred the usual suspects from getting loads of tickets. It’s not right, it’s not fair, and it should be illegal.

Let’s just hope the wool can’t be pulled over Professor Michael Waterson’s eyes. The Professor is currently reviewing the whole sorry tale of the resale of events tickets.

Alun Thomas, Sinclair Close, Edinburgh

Labour economics for

Scotland make no sense

John Higinbotham (Letters, December 2) must be aware that the powers being devolved to Scotland only offer limited flexibility, as in the case of the Scottish rate of income tax, where any changes must be applied equally to all tax bands.

He claims that Labour’s increase to the education budget will be financed by increasing the highest rate tax band to 50p but the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that this would only raise around £8 million a year whereas the SNP is already committing an extra £100m to close the attainment gap in areas with the highest levels of deprivation.

The SNP is proposing to introduce a cut of 50 per cent to air passenger duty, estimated at £125m, but not until 2018 and is expected to almost pay for itself by generating extra airport traffic, tourism income, jobs etc, but still Labour cling to the absurdity of saying a non-cut to APD somehow creates extra money to compensate for welfare cuts.

The Scotland Bill leaves any future Scottish Government without the five main tax powers required to restructure our economy or to provide decent welfare provision, but with the extra administration costs and responsibilities of putting sticking plasters over Westminster cuts on which Labour mainly 

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

History lesson for EU decision on Turkey

The agreement just signed between the EU and Turkey, under which the latter obtains visa-free entry to Europe for its citizens and an initial payment of £2.1 billion, brings to mind the old English proverb – once you’ve paid the Danegeld, you’ll never get rid of the Dane.

Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh

Help choose nation’s outstanding women

Nominations are now open for the Saltire Society’s Outstanding Women of Scotland 2016 campaign.

The awards provide a brilliant opportunity to celebrate everything Scotland’s women have achieved and to recognise their huge contribution to culture and society.

Now in its second year, the campaign will be open for nominations for three months leading up to next year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, when a shortlist will be announced.

From this list, ten women will be chosen in July next year to be inducted into the Outstanding Women of Scotland community, joining last year’s inductees such as Scotland’s Makar Liz Lochhead, novelist Jackie Kay and the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Nominations can be made via Twitter using the hashtag #saltirewomen or by completing an online form at the Saltire Society website. Women from any background can be nominated, but they must be living and contemporary examples of Scottish women who have made an exceptional contribution to culture and society.

Sarah Mason, The Saltire Society, Fountain Close, Edinburgh

Air strikes will not aid peace progress in Syria

I am against the Syria air strikes. I believe the civil war has to end, or even a ceasefire, for any progress to be made.

We have now bombed the oilfields that Daesh controls, so now we have a pollution disaster on our hands.

This war is never going to be solved unless there are ground forces in place.

Norrie McLellan, Mount Lodge Place, Portobello