City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Trams - Toxic Tram Project a Financial Disaster


By actionman - Posted on 03 March 2012

On the day that we are told that the contractors of the Edinburgh trams project may have dumped  800 tons of soil with toxic waste at an inappropriate site in order to save a sum in the region of a million pounds, we hear that what was a much vaunted "Green" project, will force in the region of six million vehicles, including all heavy goods vehicles, onto streets through residential areas right across Edinburgh.

None of these streets were intended to carry this level of traffic - indeed many are where previous city planners carefully located our schools for the precise reason that they would be away from main road traffic pollution and noise.    This typifies the underhand, unthinking, and callous way in which this project has been planned right from the outset.

So we are stuck, as citizens of this city, with a one billion pound project (because that is what it will assuredly cost in the end) to carry only five million passengers annually and even then this estimate must be wishful thinking, unless concession ticket passes are permitted.

It emerges that there are actually more vehicles being forced off the streets that the tram will use than the tram system will carry passengers!  What an ironic situation, but it seems as though Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, Convenor of the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee,  is content to just let it all happen.

He is actually pushing hard to force the project through, however, he implied that he did not understand these things when he admitted to being, "just a social worker" recently on television.  So when the new administration takes over after the Local Authority elections in May they will be faced with having to find an annual subsidy of between five and seven million pounds to service this folly.   No wonder people think that Edinburgh Council has taken leave of its senses!

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Here's the SEPA statement on the toxic waste dump:

Simon Cole, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (SEPA) Unit Manager for Edinburgh, said:

“We have been made aware of an issue at a construction site in the Murrayfield area and SEPA officers have attended to assess the situation. Following the visit, it is believed waste which has the potential to pollute the environment may have been disposed of improperly and, as a result, waste removal from the site has been suspended. We are currently liaising with the contractors to clarify the existing waste disposal processes and will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure environmental regulations are complied with.”

As the investigation is currently ongoing, we are not in a position to comment on details.

A green integrated tram system ?

Millions of pounds wasted.

 The prospect of  good bus services being sacrificed so it's passengers can be forced to feed the tram.

3,300 trees sawn down.

Traffic -- cars, buses, vehicles, LGVs and HGVs forced down streets and past the doorsteps of hundreds of thousands of Edinburgh people.

The prospect , as the council are finally belatedly admitting, of  illness increasing as the congestion spreads.

A single line.

Latest figures, kept secret but now dragged into the light by a Freedom of Information request by a newspaper, showing passenger numbers just around half of those being predicted as recently as last autumn..

Now the fumbling management fly tipping potentially toxic industrial waste, not through malice but ineptitude.

 Not Green..not a system...not integrated..... and not wanted by anyone except a dwindling band of people unable to accept the reality behind their own PR spin....A shabby project past it's sell-by-date years before it even starts, and now carrying nothing more than the promise that the more we do build the worse everything gets..