City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

All Political Parties Desert Edinburgh Trams - But Chamber of Commerce Supports!


By actionman - Posted on 04 May 2011

Tram track on Princes Street at night

Graham Birse, that well known pro-tram deputy chief executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce continues to say he wants to have more public money poured into the bottomless pit that is the Edinburgh tram project!   This might just about be coherent and acceptable in times when public money was easier to release, however, Mr Birse must be living on another planet if he imagines that political parties are going to make themselves hugely unpopular with a great majority of the voting public of Scotland by wasting yet more public money.

Even the Green Party have now abandoned the trams support bandwagon and Alison Johnstone, who is standing for the Green Party in the Lothians, has said there should be no more money and that the City Council must deliver what it can with the budget it has been given.

Furthermore, Gordon Mackenzie, Convenor of the Council Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee, has at last now admitted that only taking the line as far as Haymarket is being looked at as an option. For someone who also sits on the Board of Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (tie) this is a big climb down. Perhaps, as he is also standing as an MSP candidate, he can see his support rapidly ebbing away due to his high handed and incompetent handling of the trams project.  But why the City Council should have allowed such a conflict of interest to be created for Councillors in the first place really beggars belief!

Some of the public money that is left should be used on an environmental assessment of the effects that the trams will have on the residential areas of the city.   This has constantly been ducked by Gordon Mackenzie and his TI&E Committee and yet the potential for the city to have ongoing legal claims for the health effects of worse air quality seem to be ignored.   Before this project goes any further it needs a basic rethink with a clean sheet of paper.