Buses bought in spite of tram scheme

WITHOUT wanting to start a chain correspondence, I feel that a number of (financial) facts need to be made to Mr Cox (Letters, December 10) and others about the Edinburgh guided busway and tram systems. It was indeed intended when it opened in 2001 that R

WITHOUT wanting to start a chain correspondence, I feel that a number of (financial) facts need to be made to Mr Cox (Letters, December 10) and others about the Edinburgh guided busway and tram systems.

It was indeed intended when it opened in 2001 that Royal Assent would allow the busway to be converted to part of the city tram lines system in, they hoped, 2009. But Lothian Buses then spent over £5million on 30 new buses, equipment and training which, with other expenditure, lifted the total to over £10million. One can only assume that they hoped (or maybe expected) that the tram system would, like those in a number of English cities, be abandoned.

But that is to forget that Alistair Darling was Secretary of State for Scotland, and an Edinburgh MP. And Labour needs all the votes and seats it can keep hold of in Scotland.

So, while tram schemes in Liverpool, Leeds and Portsmouth were cancelled and extensions to systems in Manchester and Birmingham delayed, the Edinburgh scheme got the go-ahead. So, if it was always intended that the busway would give way to a tram system, why was well over £10million of taxpayers' money spent? And what happens to it all now?


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It seems it was not I who "shot himself in the foot". It was the City of Edinburgh that seems to have wasted huge sums of money to little effect.

MALCOLM COHEN

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Croftfield Road

Godmanchester

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