Friday, August 26, 2011
Edinburgh Councillors humiliated as Edinburgh tram project lurches to another disaster, council vote will lead to increase in trams running at a loss
If you caught Newsnight Scotland last night, Gordon Brewer did a piece on the trams project.
A project beset by difficulties and has ended up as a complete mess.
No Councillor at Edinburgh City Council comes out of this looking good.
And I actually felt sorry for Gordon Mackenzie, LibDem transport convenor of the council, it looks like he is on his own as the front man for this disaster.
The Tram project was opposed by the SNP from the start at Holyrood and Council level, however they were outvoted at every turn as this farce which had Iain Gray’s paw prints all over it was pushed on the public.
Labour, Lib Dems and Tories all wanted this but the SNP says all along that this was a bad idea.
At the Council level, the Edinburgh trams project was dealt a hammer blow yesterday after Labour and Tory councillors rejected a council-backed rescue plan.
And to add insult to injury they wrongly voted instead to build a loss-making route only half the length of the one originally proposed.
So, the people of Edinburgh are going to get an inappropriate six-mile tramway between Edinburgh Airport and Haymarket, west of the city centre when at the very least they should have carried on to the centre of the city at St Andrew Square.
It is a complete farce and it begs questions regarding the calibre of those councillors who couldn’t recognise this was a massive white elephant from the start.
A tram line that makes a loss is no use to anyone; official estimates suggest it will run up further debts of £4m a year.
Operating costs will outstrip the numbers who will use it.
This shows that more care is needed at every level because it appears from start to finish; this project was beyond the ability of the Councillors right through to the people controlling and overseeing the project.
One thing for certain, no one who had hands on or off comes out smelling of roses.
Edinburgh is a laughing stock.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University