Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chief executive of Edinburgh's tram project resigns as project continues to stumble and bumble along at snail’s pace, where Frank McAveety’s bus?

Dear All

When you see the writing on the wall, it’s time to bail.

And that is what the chief executive of Edinburgh's tram project is doing.

He is off at 'Plumpton', he has resigned after just short two years in the post.

Richard Jeffrey has stepped down from the project, which is behind schedule and over budget.

The ‘Minister for Trams’ Iain Gray has seen his donkey hit the political and financial buffers can only sit there are key personnel desert the ill fated project.

It is an unhappy time as there has been a on-going dispute between Tie and its contractors Bilfinger Berger

The previous chief executive, Willie Gallagher, also only lasted tow years before he too resigned from the role.

Last week a damning report published by Edinburgh City Council said work so far had cost £440m.

A total budget of £545m was allocated for the scheme.

The tram project was a nice idea but everything needs to be grounded in reality.

Jeffrey said:

"Following the mediation earlier this year I believe now is the optimum time to move on and allow the project to proceed to the next stage. I remain convinced that trams are part of the solution for future generations, and I look forward to travelling on the city's trams. I would like to pay tribute to my board, partners, stakeholders and my colleagues, whose support, dedication and commitment in trying circumstances has been fantastic."

I wonder if he has another job lined up?

report also confirmed up to 10 of Edinburgh's unused tram vehicles could be leased to Transport for London to be used on the Croydon Tram Network.

Officials said they would not be needed in Edinburgh for "several years".

Tie chairman, Vic Emery said:

"Richard has been an energetic force during his time on the project and has seen the organisation through a particularly challenging period. I would personally like to pay tribute to his determination, integrity and resilience during his time here with Tie. The organisation will continue as before for the current time. We are working closely with Edinburgh City Council and there is a great deal of work ongoing in terms of moving forward the different work streams agreed from the mediation in March."

If he is so wonderful why isn’t he staying and finish what he started?

Gordon Mackenzie, Edinburgh City Council's transport convenor, said:

"I am grateful for the energy and focus Richard has given to Tie and the tram project. He has worked tirelessly for the city in very difficult circumstances and as a unique individual, much respected in the business community and amongst partners, I wish him the very best in his career."

I also wonder how this failure will look on his C.V.

SNP MSPs for the city of Edinburgh welcomed the resignation.

Colin Keir, who represents Edinburgh West, said:

"Richard Jeffrey was supposed to turn the tram project around and instead it simply stalled. There are tough decisions to be made about the tram project and the future of Tie. It is right that those responsible for the problems of the last few years remove themselves from the future of the organisation."

I don’t think they will be keeping in touch.

Mr Jeffrey is a chartered civil engineer and has a first class degree in civil engineering from Imperial College, London.

But he can’t finish laying out a choo choo train.

And he would probably cite that since it was a Labour project, it was cursed from the start and as such he is dissolved for his sins!


Looks like Frank McAveety’s bus could be the alternative that Edinburgh needs to get the Capital moving again!

And Frank knows Edinburgh!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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