Following the decision of the SNP-run Scottish Executive to abide by the Scottish Parliament's desire for the Edinburgh tram scheme to go ahead, work has started on the utility diversion work in preparation for laying the tracks.
As they are a form of electric street transit, trams have the desirable features of producing no fumes in the streets, being more efficient than vehicles powered by diesel engines, being able to run on renewable energy and being more attractive to passengers than diesel buses running on the same routes.
This site came into existence because a general lack of knowledge of trolleybuses, an alternative form of electric street transit to trams. Trolleybuses offer a more affordable and less financially risky alternative to trams but with many of their benefits. However, during the development of the tram scheme there was no cost-benefit analysis of trolleybuses carried out, and the official reasons for not investigating them were questionable.
For a while it looked as though Edinburgh might lose out on electric street transit because of the unwillingness of the SNP to pay for the tram and because politicians were not aware of the more affordable alternative of trolleybuses. In the event, trolleybuses were not required to save Edinburgh's electric street transit plans.
In the course of the debate on trams following the 2007 Scottish Parliament elections:
- All MSPs and councillors were provided with information about trolleybuses
- Trolleybuses have featured in a Scotsman article, and letters to the Evening News
- A number of MSPs have engaged with the arguements both privately and in public, for example LibDem Cllr Phil Wheeler's letter to the Scotsman and SNP MSP Alex McNeill's mention of trolleybuses on Newsnight Scotland
- Members of the public have engaged with the arguments, for example in comments on the Scotsman website, and on the tramfacts site.
It therefore seems fair to say that politicians were aware of trolleybuses as an alternative to trams.
Now that the Edinburgh tram scheme is going ahead, this site will continue promoting on-street electric transit in Scotland by raising awareness of modern trolleybuses.