Edinburgh Transport Blog
actionman writes on 18 June 2011, 12.08am:
The latest Edinburgh City Council press release claims that the Council "have balanced their books again". This is encouraging news and great credit must go to Sue Bruce, the new Chief Executive of the City Council, as they had to cope with trying to find some £90 million savings. So while this statement is welcomed, there is scarcely a mention of the disaster area which is the Edinburgh trams project, except under figures heavily disguised under 'tie' (Transport Initiatives Edinburgh).
We are told that "Tram Infrastructure Contracts" amount to £109 million, but no completion date is given - understandable in the present situation, but worrying nevertheless.
We also have it on fairly good authority that the Council will need another £200 million to get the line to St Andrew Square...
actionman writes on 16 June 2011, 11.53am:
Edinburgh City Council appear to be moving to get rid of Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (tie) from involvement in the ill-fated Edinburgh trams project. There are apparently plans to lay off more than half the present staff with a voluntary redundancy scheme now underway within tie. The claim from tie itself is that fewer staff will be required as only part (which part?) of the tram line is to be completed, however, we all know that the Council and tie have run out of money for the project.
What is also clear is that the "new brooms" of Sue Bruce as Chief Executive of the City Council and Vic Emery, the new Chairman of tie, see the compny as something of a disaster area. If the scheme is wound up it will be seen as a failure of tie and the various people in charge there when there is further bad news to announce.
It is known that the Council is to take a decision on 30th June at a Council meeting about the future of the...
actionman writes on 31 May 2011, 11.44pm:
In the aftermath of the departure of the chief executive, Richard Jeffrey, the four non-executive directors of TIE have now left the board. This would seem to indicate that TIE itself is heading for disbandment.
It has achieved the unwelcome distinction of being seen as the most inefficient and ineffective organisation, which has made a complete mess of the Edinburgh tram project and cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds - all wasted. This has been simply frittered away while the staff have been paid inflated salaries for achieving nothing of consequence. The sooner the whole organisation is completely disbanded the better.
Meanwhile, like the Titanic, the Council sails on towards the 30th June "iceberg meeting" when they plan only to look at the option of stopping the project or taking it to St Andrew Square.
For some reason Sue...
edg writes on 23 May 2011, 8.07pm:
Edinburgh Airport is warning passengers to check ahead with their airline to see if their flight has been affected by ash from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland tomorrow.
Thus far the airport has not been affected by ash eruption from the Icelandic volcano. However, today the airport warned in a statement: "Through our regular meetings with NATS and our airlines, we anticipate there will be disruptions to services at Edinburgh Airport tomorrow Tuesday, 24 May.
Ultimately, the decision whether or not to fly will be made by individual airlines based on CAA guidance in conjunction with their aircraft manufacturers’ advice.
We advise passengers to check with their airlines before travelling to the airport. Airline contact details."
The travel disruption from the Grimsvotn volcano ash cloud in Iceland is not expected to be on the same scale as with the...
edg writes on 11 May 2011, 5.50pm:
Edinburgh Trams made its first public statement since the SNP majority win at the Scottish Parliamentry Election last week buried the possibility of getting extra government cash for completing the beleaguered project.
It was also the first time Edinburgh Trams broke silence about the results of the mediation process, which began in March. It announced that further tram works on Princes Street and road diversions are planned this Summer.
The move certainly reinforces its commitment to build the tram as far as St Andrew Square, although many have speculated that the tram will not be completed beyond Haymarket for some time due to a funding shortfall.
I've posted the full statement (optimistically entitled "Mediation Restores Tram Momentum") below and you can read it here:
actionman writes on 7 May 2011, 4.57pm:
The election result in Scotland could not have been a greater blow for Edinburgh City Council and Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (tie). They must have been desperately hoping that a strong Labour showing in the polls, would have given them the chance of going to the Scottish Parliament with a begging bowl asking for some more money to complete the project. That dream is in tatters and they have the prospect of a severe rebuff from Chief Minister Alex Salmond.
One cannot imagine thet the SNP will have a change of heart on support for the trams. Alex Salmond and all his Ministers have been so absolutely clear that "not one penny more" is to be given to the Council for this miserably failed project. In any event the SNP Government will have...
actionman writes on 4 May 2011, 12.04am:
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...
Editor writes on 21 April 2011, 11.15am:
TRAIN operator East Coast is reminding passengers to check travel times carefully over the April and May Day bank holidays.
Revised timetables will apply on all bank holidays, while some services will be retimed on other dates due to Network Rail engineering work.
Details of all timetables throughout the April and May holidays are available online at www.eastcoast.co.uk, in the ‘travel information’ section, or by calling National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50.
A summary of the main alterations to East Coast services:
Good Friday, 22 April: East Coast will operate a revised timetable on this date.
Easter Saturday, 23 April: Network Rail engineering work will take place between Glasgow Central and Edinburgh: East Coast services which normally serve Glasgow will start and terminate at Edinburgh throughout the day. Also, engineering work from 21.15 will result in journey times between Doncaster and Newark being extended by 25...
edg writes on 21 April 2011, 9.39am:
The second part of the Edinburgh Tram's video about work on the Gogar depot was recently released. Actually it seems less about work being carried out at Gogar and more about the future of trams in the UK in general.
Geoff Lusher, chairman of the Light Rail Transport Association, starts by praising the layout of the depot ("very impressive"), although he does, diplomatically, admit that the scale of the place is "obviously suited for a further expansion of the current system."
Not quite sure what he means by "system" since there isn't very much in place and, since the smoke of battle has not lifted in the dispute between Tie and Bilfinger Berger, we are still waiting to see where the tram is going.
He continues: "Most of the UK systems have gone through a number of internal wrangles, if I can call them that, as between the various members of...
edg writes on 12 April 2011, 9.17am:
TIE, still bogged down in its dispute with its contractor, have tried to strike an upbeat tone about the Edinburgh Trams project in a newly released video illustrating progress on the depot at Gogar.
"Despite the ongoing dispute, a lot of work has been carried out on the Edinburgh Tram Project," the video says at the opening.
"In particular, tracks are being laid at the maintenance depot at Gogar as well as in the building which will house the control centre."
Kevin Keating, Operations Mobilisation Co-ordinator, explains that although the purpose-built nerve centre for the tramline is still not completed, an internal crane assembly has been installed, tracks laid, and substation equipment to power the overhead line brought in.
The next step is to put in the electrics for the equipment that will monitor the tram. So a tram may be in Edinburgh soon, just not running very far.