HELEN McArdle's Inside Track article about Edinburgh's trams prompted me to recall the time we were on holiday in Tenerife and rode on their new tram system ("Transport trauma is not unique to Edinburgh", The Herald,May 29).

This runs through the town of Santa Cruz, where trams used to run earlier in the last century, not unlike Edinburgh. Construction began in early 2004 and opened in June 2007,

The £249m cost, which included the tram fleet, is borne through a public-private partnership.

Metropolitano de Tenerife is a private company, but the main shareholder is the island's government with a £47.1m holding.

Additional funding partners were the Canary Islands provincial government (£47.7m), Santa Cruz and Laguna (£4.9m), European Investment Bank (£66.6m), and the European Regional Development Fund (£10.5m).

In addition, French public transport provider Transdev invested £5.6m, Caja Canaries Bank £2.4m and the Spanish government £8.1m.

The route of Line 1 is 7.6 miles long with 22 stops and carries 50,000 people per day.

Line 2 opened in May, 2009 and included a further four stops and it is planned to extend this line to La Gallega to give coverage to the greater population.

There are also plans to extend the line further out to connect with Tenerife North Airport.

A more ambitious plan is to run along the coast as far south as Playa de las Americas.

Compare this with Edinburgh trams: initial costs in 2003 of the scheme were estimated at £498m, with £375m in funding from the Scottish Government and £45m from Edinburgh Council.

In May 2008 this had ballooned to £521m. However, the final cost is expected to top £1bn.

It runs from the airport to the New Town, 8.7 miles with 16 stations, with many sections abandoned, including the run to Leith's Ocean Terminal.

At one point, the line was going to be stopped at Haymarket station. Initial work got under way in July 2007 and here we are with it opening in May 2014, having taken seven years.

It doesn't bode well for anyone else contemplating building a new tramway. Will any lessons be learned?

Ian McDonald,

2 Stuarthill Drive,

Maryburgh, Dingwall.

AFTER much controversy the start of the Edinburgh tram operation will no doubt come as a relief to the supporters of the venture and provide Edinburgh people with another means of travelling about their city and to the airport.

However, it surely comes at a cost to other users of the airport who choose to park there before flying. Now drivers and their passengers are faced with a longer and more confusing walk from the bus drop-off point to the terminal and on their return are more exposed to the elements as they wait for their bus. Surely more could have been done to ensure that those airport users' interests were not subordinated to those of the tram?

Bob MacDougall,