The Edinburgh Trams Project was meant to deliver three new public transport routes across the city. Instead, after a massive overspend (total cost said to be £776 Million) and years overrun, Edinburgh Council only managed to build one line that didn’t even go as far as planned: Edinburgh Airport to York Place, a route which is already very well served by multiple LRT buses and which runs in parallel to the railway line from Waverley through Haymarket almost all the way.
Despite this, apparently only three of the 27 stops on the route connect with rail and bus services:
Edinburgh has 27 trams in its fleet, although only about half of these will be in service at any one time.
Tram vehicles, each costing about £2m, can take 250 passengers – 78 seated, 170 standing and two dedicated wheelchair spaces.
The full journey from the airport to York Place in the city centre should take about 35 minutes.
The 14km route has 15 stops along the way, three of which connect with rail and bus services.
It’s a shame to be a downer on their first day, but it does look as if there should be an inquiry into how this happened – especially as the trams were proposed, budgeted, and scheduled in an era when, as we now know, Edinburgh Council’s civil service had quite a few people engaging in corrupt little fiddles that brought in millions.
It’s possible that all of this huge cost overrun and massive timescale slip was all the result of a series of entirely innocent mistakes, just as the attempt to privatise procurement, proposed by the head of corporate services, was presumably suggested without any thought of profiteering.
But you know. Under the circumstances. With the project costing us all £1800 apiece and providing far less at a far higher cost – and with Edinburgh Council’s track record of failing to spot corrupt civil servants before they cost us millions – – shouldn’t we at least be asking the question? And not an inquiry by Deloitte, but a real one, under the aegis of the Scottish Government, who part-funded the project and who surely have a right, just as the people of Edinburgh do, to ask: What happened?
Anyone care to join in for a wee photocall at noon? #tramsinquiry banner at princess street gallery precinct.
— Trams Inquiry (@tramsinquiry) May 31, 2014
The Spurtle takes an early ride: We have seen the future, and it ‘glongs’.