Edinburgh Trams - A Blight on Business
Sources say that Edinburgh City Council are going to make available some £5,000,000 for businesses which have suffered financial losses as a result of the ongoing disastrous tram project. The trams have been a blight on commerce in the city and the project is running some five years late, wildly over budget.
All this has subjected traders in the city to untold disruption and the effect on businesses has been catastrophic. The offer from the Council is for a twenty percent discount on business rates, but limited to those directly on the construction site who can also prove they have lost money. This is a start, but the Council needs to appreciate that the tram project has had the same stifling effect right across all areas of the city - what about the traders in Leith Walk, Lothian Road, Shandwick Place and Haymarket? Everyone has been hit by the chaos of the tram works and the Council needs, through its independent assessor, to take all these cases and treat them sympathetically.
The tram project has indeed been a blight on business in the city and even stores like John Lewis have felt the pinch. Harvey Nichols and the smart shops in Multrees Walk will undoubtedly also be affected even more as the works take place beside them. It will take the city simply years to recover and as a reminder we will be saddled, for the next thirty years, with paying off the enormous loan that the Council have had to take out to get the line to St Andrew Square and York Place.
All the current promises and the constant stream of "positive messages" from the present administration are simply an attempt to save face before the Local Authority elections on 3 May. But the electorate will not be taken in and those who have pushed and supported what has proved to be the most chaotic Local Authority project in Scotland, can expect to pay the price by being kicked out of office.