Letters: Wrong to derail solution for troubled trams project

REGARDING the article “Thanks for the offer but . .” (News, February 6) about the rejected tram project option.

Tram Power is offering the LR55 track technology that we have designed and developed as a solution to the escalating costs and disruption faced by the Edinburgh tram project.

This can be installed by any contractor the council feels credible enough to deliver the tram project, even Bilfinger Berger and Siemens, to whom we have also offered our full technical support. LR55 components are manufactured under licence by huge worldwide companies with vast experience in the sector.

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We are not offering to deliver the project but a technological solution, that will enable the whole tramway to be built within the existing budget.

Tram Power is not offering any vehicles, which would be a waste of time and money since the Edinburgh trams have been paid for and built already.

“Unproven” LR55 replaced “proven” rails in Sheffield that had failed in 1996 after less than a year of use, as with the rails in Princes Street, but at least Sheffield trams had been running on them during that time. LR55 has been in place and not needed any maintenance in the subsequent 16 years.

Prior to this LR55 was comprehensively and robustly tested to stand up to all known or anticipated conditions, including four million buses in Rotherham bus station over four years, without damage.

Professor Lewis Lesley, Tram Power Ltd

Confusion over what is wanted

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I AM glad that Jim Taylor enjoyed reading my letter of January 31 but sad that his response (Letters, February 3) bore little relation to what I wrote.

Your readers may be as confused as me. If I am not mistaken, he thinks that Scotland is “too wee, too poor and too stupid” for full self- government.

He is against the monarchy, against membership of the European Union and against the Scottish National Party. He favours Scotland being ruled from Westminster.

He believes that an independent Scotland will be “far from independent” within the European Union.

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Logically, he must regard all of the 27 existing members of the EU, including the UK, as similarly unfree, and yet he wants Scotland to continue under Westminster rule.

Perhaps, instead of attacking the SNP Scottish Government, he should be campaigning for the Westminster parliament to sack the Queen and to extract the UK from the European Union.

Robin MacCormick, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh

Labour behind better transport

IN answer to Helen Martin (News, January 30) I would like to make the Labour position plain.

Labour has no plans to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy in our manifesto, which would in any case require legislation for it to happen.

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I made this clear to her colleague when discussing the suggestion which came from a member of the public at a consultation meeting. There is a problem with traffic congestion in the city centre, not all to do with the tram project, which is temporary.

To follow Helen Martin’s suggestion of providing cheaper parking would only lead to gridlock, as any sensible person would acknowledge.

Part of the answer is better public transport, which we wholeheartedly support.

Whether it can be cheaper is doubtful as the SNP government in Holyrood has just proposed cutting the Bus Service Operators Grant to Lothian Buses which, if implemented, will probably lead to significant fares hike.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport spokesperson for Labour

Secular, but still defenders of faith

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IN reply to Donald Jack (Letters, February 7), secularists are staunch defenders of religious freedom in homes, churches and temples so long as it is peaceful and law abiding, but they are against religion imposed by the state on the public in schools, council meetings and parliaments.

And isn’t it a shame that the Queen has, by law, to be a Protestant and be identified with one side of some religious divisions in Scotland?

Norman Bonney, National Secular Society