Having a say on trams

Last year, the Scottish Parliament voted to proceed with the Edinburgh trams project and allocated £600 million to it. The decision could have been rescinded by the city council, but they chose to endorse it.

A vast sum was thus allocated to a local project that is, apparently, overwhelmingly unpopular, while projects of immense benefit to all of Scotland founder for want of funds. How many "bobbies on the beat" would 600 million have provided?

Now that the citizens of Edinburgh are enduring the preliminary phase of a four-year period of traffic chaos, can one inquire of councillors why it was deemed appropriate to consult on the congestion-charging proposal, but not on this contentious scheme? The council-tax demand to be issued shortly could provide an inexpensive means of determining the views of those who will "pay the piper" if the scheme goes awry. A simple tear-off slip could provide the answer. Democracy in action, retrospectively.

ARCHIE DAVIDSON, Caroline Terrace, Edinburgh