Tram wires on buildings keep the clutter down

All a Bordeaux: Trams in Bordeaux are powered from below. Picture: Complimentary
All a Bordeaux: Trams in Bordeaux are powered from below. Picture: Complimentary
Have your say

Your correspondent John Addison (Letters, August 6) asks how planning permission could possibly have been granted to allow many of the overhead wires required to power the tram to be attached to buildings along the route.

I guess that the answer is really quite simple: because otherwise the number of large poles required would have increased substantially – and these would have added to the “street clutter” that planners are keen to reduce, not increase.

Tram wire attachment to buildings is not, of course, a new thing – you can see traces of the past system throughout the city.

It is possible to collect the electric current for trams from below – as happens, for instance, through the historic city centre in Bordeaux. However, such a method of powering trams was, in its modern form, still quite new and with a history of problems (since resolved) when the contracts were signed for Edinburgh. Maybe retro-fitting such a collection system might be something to consider in the future. That would certainly please organisations such as the Cockburn Association.

In the meantime, though, it’s far better to attach the wires (almost invisibly) to buildings en route than to have even more poles clutter up our city centre. Indeed, some poles – as at the West End at the top of Queensferry Street and opposite the entrance to Haymarket station – would be best removed as they spoil an important view of the Castle and obstruct the pavement.

Lawrence Marshall, chair, Capital Rail Action Group, Edinburgh

What’s really behind council chief’s deal

the reasons Sue Bruce was offered and accepted a position on the board of SSE are many and varied.

In common with the mores of a large percentage of our elected representatives it is because they are intelligent and intellectual, they have a great capacity for hard work, a better than usual understanding of energy issues and related subjects, an empathy with poor households, an outstanding ability to do two jobs at once, and also to understand the big issues of the day, that is, what to wear at dinner parties and days out at the races.

If this what they truly believe, then who are we to disagree?

KJ Wilson, Middle Norton, Edinburgh

More to Scotland’s economy than oil

Chas Dennis says the whole argument of independence relies completely on oil (Letters, August 8) and forgets the great and more important commodities of whisky, gas, beef, tourism, renewable energy and probably the most important, the people.

The savings that would be paramount in a nuclear-free Scotland is another subject he chooses to omit as he rambles on about his distrust of a free country surviving.

George Robertson, Edinburgh

Brother should leave Subo to the experts

Your story about Susan Boyle and her management team’s row with her brother Gerry was very interesting (It’s Subo versus Subro, News, August 2).

Using Susan to close the show sounds like an attempt by Mr Boyle to cash in on his sister’s fame and success. And it puts the singer in an awkward situation, because it is always hard to turn down a request from a family member.

Susan has enjoyed a marvellous rise to worldwide fame since she was plucked from obscurity after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009.

She has sold countless CDs and tickets to her shows, and she has benefited from the team who look after and promote her.

Her brother would be doing her a favour if he left looking after her career to the professionals.

George Hope, Penicuik

No sense in Dave’s foreign aid stance

While people are starving in Britain, David Cameron says he is “proud” that £1 billion a month is spent on foreign aid.

So, just to get this right, David Cameron is proud that part of this money was used for President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to spend £30 million on a Gulfstream jet after receiving £127m in British aid, and in Equatorial Guinea, the president’s son Teodoro Obiang Mangue used British aid money to buy a £21m Malibu mansion.

Yes Mr Cameron, your proud stance on foreign aid really is fully justified, isn’t it?

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian

Money not motivator for Gordon Brown

I respect that Douglas Gordon has a right to his opinion of Gordon Brown, but I would like to correct his statement that Mr Brown is in it for whatever money he can make out of it (Letters, August 9).

Mr Brown accepts the basic backbench MP’s pay. He does not accept the increase due to a former PM.

Any money which he receives for public appearances or public speeches goes to charities, not into his pocket.

The same applies to Mrs Brown and to royalties from their books.

I would add that I am not a card- carrying member of the Labour Party although I was a trades unionist during my working life.

Margaret Mavor, Craiglockhart

Chinese would have cracked trams by now

I think it is a pity that the city councillors hadn’t awarded the trams project contract to the Chinese.

If they had done so, that pantomime would have been up and running years ago.

Tony White, Loanhead