Letters: Tram adverts bring Blackpool to Capital

Picture: Mark Fearn
Picture: Mark Fearn
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I saw today that the trams have been vandalised!

If these proposals go ahead I fear major damage to the economy of Edinburgh and on a wider scale Scotland as the scheme is rolled out to other cities.

If it goes ahead I would be unable to afford to work in Edinburgh. I have used public transport in the past but found it so unreliable I had no choice but to buy a vehicle. The first train and bus possible were both cancelled or late on a regular basis and I almost lost my job as a result.

Even purchasing an electric vehicle would not be practical. At present there are not enough charging points across the country. Would people or clients that I may visit in my vehicle be prepared to let me use their electricity supplies to recharge my vehicle?

Some people believe that electric vehicles are green but they are certainly not. If the whole of the UK switched to electric overnight we would need at least 20 new power plants just to meet the demand. The batteries used in the vehicles contain all sorts of nasty and heavy metals mined from the earth often causing environmental problems.

In wet weather water plays havoc with the electronic circuits.

I certainly hope diesel and petrol vehicles will be here for the long term. I am also not prepared to buy a newer diesel/petrol vehicle now as the Scottish Government have also said that they will be obsolete in 15 years time, so economically I would be better hanging on to what I have and running it into the ground

Mr Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Scott Monument is doomed to darkness

YOUR leading article on the blackness of the Scott Monument (News, September 7) fails to mention that this was not helped by years of steam trains and coal fires.

Reports many years ago showed this blackness could not be removed by either jet wash or acid cleaning as this would have damaged the stone and structure.

William Lenaghen, Stevenson Avenue, Edinburgh

Tram adverts bring Blackpool to Capital

I saw today that the trams have been vandalised! Huge adverts adorn the whole tram from front to back, top to bottom - looks absolutely tacky. Typical council way of thinking - let’s make Edinburgh look like Blackpool.

Merle Quade, Fairmilehead

A toast to St James demolition heroes

Would you be able to start a campaign to have the men who are demolishing the St James’ Centre made Freemen of the city, or at least invite all your readers to raise a glass to these good folk?

Whatever it is that others may now build there, in our lifetimes few have done more for Edinburgh than these hard-working guys.

Michael Upton, South-East Circus Place, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Zoo panda breeding plan will fail

It is six years since I wrote expressing my disapproval of Edinburgh zoo having two pandas ‘on loan’ from China - ostensibly for the public, but in reality to prop up its ailing finances.

They are not ‘on loan’, they are rented at £600,000 a year from China for 10 years. Then there was the £3000,000 spent on housing and the very high cost of bamboo and that is not even starting on the scientific and veterinary costs of trying to care for these two pandas.

I also expressed my disbelief at the likelihood of ever breeding a panda cub in Edinburgh. Living in conditions so unconducive to breeding, experts from China being flown in, attempts at AI and every ‘conceivable’ route tried – as yet, no panda cub.

I do not doubt the expertise of the Chinese panda breeders - in China. They have had great success. But Edinburgh zoo - no.

This is never the way to conserve an endangered species – and these two should never have been brought here.

I know something about the reproduction problems in animals being a retired veterinary surgeon, but I suspect my hat will remain uneaten and hope that the two incumbent pandas may be returned to China in good health and none the worse for their Scottish sojourn - eventually.

Mrs Pat Morris, MRCVS (Retired), Hopetoun Terrace, Gullane

We need a tax rise to protects our services

I may be in a minority but I am content to pay some more tax to help fund education, the NHS, the poorest in our society and other communal needs.

If we want public services that are fit for purpose we must all contribute. For example look to the Scandinavian economies which have levels of 50% taxation. I am not suggesting that level of taxation.

Ruth Davidson tries to argue that any increase in taxation is bad, I disagree. Tory policy to lower the level of public services to 30%, or under of GDP, akin to the US, is abhorrent to me.

The free marketeers, as exemplified by Keith Joseph, Margaret Thatcher, Norman Tebbit, Chris Grayling, Jeremy Hunt and others do no service to British society in trying to reduce the level of public services to these low levels.

In a democratic society we must all pay a ‘fair’ share of tax. To allow the top 1% of wealth holders to evade tax and ‘hide’ assets abroad or in trusts does nothing to aid the wider economy.

On a separate issue, I have yet to see a justification from the Tory Government for charging 6.1% interest on student loans. How can this be fair, when interest rates worldwide are so low or in some cases, negative?

James Stewart, Butlaw, South Queensferry