City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Transport Blog


d2tod4 writes on 25 September 2011, 7.37pm:

There are emerging news stories recently that intersect with the situation and events in Edinburgh surounding the Tram project; The object lesson Greece and Italy are providing in the dangers of sliding into a quagmire of unmanageable debt isn't the only one, two others are:

The Guardian had a story on page 4 recently, yet again highlighting the rapidly growing understanding of the effects of traffic created pollution.  

The debacle of the Central Fire control stations in which hundreds of millions have been totally wasted, which is an ongoing political story and indeed scandal.

Traffic created pollution is a difficult problem but only Edinburgh City Council in the UK is pushing forward with a project that lacks any real constituency of support amongst the public and  that was predicted by its own figures to raise pollution levels for well over 130,000 households.

This makes the advice at the end of the Guardian story that people...

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Tram on Princes Street

edg writes on 15 September 2011, 10.18pm:

Following yesterday's announcement that the Scottish Government will oversee the Edinburgh Trams project, today the Council announced that a new agreement had been forged with the Consortium (Bilfinger Berger, Siemens and CAF) contracted to provide the tramline from Edinburgh Airport to York Place.

The deal comes at the end of months of secretive negotiations carried out through a formal mediation process, and the threatened loss of some £72 million in Scottish Government funding for the troubled project after a surprise vote by Edinburgh City Council to halt the tramline at Haymarket.

The funds were reinstated after the Council made a U-turn on that decision, by restoring St Andrew...

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Edinburgh Tram and Lothian Buses

actionman writes on 2 September 2011, 11.57pm:

Edinburgh Councillors decided today to embark on a high risk - high spend - high borrowing strategy, which will without doubt have an adverse effect on every citizen in the city. To borrow £231 million for a project is one thing, but to borrow this amount of money, which carries with it a £15.4 million annual pay-back requirement, at a time when the Council are simultaneously embarking on a series of cuts and cost saving measures simply defies any kind of logic.

To do all this when there is absolutely no guarantee that the tram extension to St Andrew Square can be completed within the estimated figure given, must be the most foolish strategy imaginable. 

One must ask, would any of the Councillors who voted this morning have embarked on a project like this if this had been their personal money? Of course not! So we will have to wait while this open ended contract grinds on and on,...

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Tram Works, Princes Street and Castle

edg writes on 2 September 2011, 8.23pm:

As expected Edinburgh City Council has voted to take the trams to St Andrew Square, reversing the recent decision to reverse the 30th June decision... to go to St Andrew Square. Confused? Exasperated? Well, it is the Edinburgh trams.

As they said they would, the SNP councillors came out in support of the Liberal Democrat motion to build the tram line to the city centre. In last month's decision, they abstained, which allowed Conservative and Labour councillors to win an amendment to make Haymarket Station the new destination.

The Con-Lab councillors argued that it was a "sensible option" given that continuing to build into the city...

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Edinburgh Trams Arriving 2011

edg writes on 31 August 2011, 7.06pm:

Residents of Edinburgh wont know whether to laugh or cry at the latest news that Edinburgh's trams are back on track to run along the curtailed route from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrew Square.

Since 30 June we have now done a complete 360º turn. We've been to St Andrew Square (30 June decision), to Haymarket (25 August decision), and now back again to St Andrew Square.

In the latest bend in the tram track, anti-tram SNP councillors have decided to support building the tramline to St Andrew Square. The decision comes after the Scottish government said it would withhold some £72 million funding if the line stopped at...

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Tram Works on Princes from Calton Hill

edg writes on 30 August 2011, 9.17am:

The Fringe may be over, but the ongoing farce of the Edinburgh Trams project continues.

Most recently, we had the unexpected reversal of the original 30 June decision to continue with a curtailed tramline to St Andrew Square. In a rare show of unanimity, Labour and Conservative councillors joined forces to pass an amendment to instead complete the trams to Haymarket Station.

The tram may not go into the city centre but, the reasoning goes, by stopping a couple of miles short, we would be cutting our losses and reducing the risk of having more unforseen costs.

Instead of the city having to take on a £231million loan to complete the £776 million line to St Andrew Square, stopping at Haymarket would save a significant chunk of tax payers' money. 

Of course, nothing's that simple where the trams are concerned.

Supporters of the Haymarket...

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Tram works on Princes Street (June 2009)

edg writes on 25 August 2011, 8.43pm:

The Edinburgh tram line will now only go from Edinburgh Airport to Haymarket after Labour and Conservative Councillors today voted to rescind an earlier decision to continue the line to St Andrew Square.

After four rounds of voting, an amendment tabled by the Labour Group to stop at Haymarket Station was passed, with support from the Conservative group, securing a vote of 25 against 19 for the Liberal Democrat Motion, which had the support of the Green Group. There were 13 abstentions.

The original tramsline was due to be completed by now as far as Newhaven at a cost of some £545 million, as the first phase in a network of tramlines through the city. However, an industrial dispute with the contractors Bilfinger Berger, has bogged the project down...

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edg writes on 19 August 2011, 8.05pm:

Following the 30th June decision to press ahead with building a curtailed tramline to St Andrew Square, and yesterday's announcement that private company Turner & Townsend will replace Tie in running the crisis hit Edinburgh Trams project, an Edinburgh City Council report has now laid out how it will make up the shortfall of some £231 million. This is over and above the original £500 million from the Scottish Government and Edinburgh City Council's £45 million, which was budgeted for the full line to Newhaven.

Following a "more granular and detailed assessment of specified risk" the authors of the report state (3.13): "The review of the budget has validated the base budget allowance for the project to York Place at £742m. The...

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actionman writes on 17 August 2011, 9.42pm:

In the run up to the Edinburgh City Council by-election tomorrow (Thursday 18th August) there have been three main hustings events. The last two, one on Monday night at the City Chambers was sponsored by UNISON and the one held at the French Institute on Tuesday, was for residents of the New Town.

The meetings were attended by the candidates or their representatives; those attending on both nights were John Carson (Independent), Melanie Main (Green Party), Ian McGill (Conservative) and Alasdair Rankin (SNP).  Alistair Hodgson (LibDem) attended on the Tuesday but was represented by Charles Dundas on the Monday. Karen Doran (Labour) broke her ankle canvassing and was represented by Councillor Ricki Henderson on Monday and Councillor Lesley Hinds on Tuesday.

At both meetings there was strong condemnation of the way that the Council has handled the ...

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Edinburgh Tram and Lothian Buses

actionman writes on 15 August 2011, 12.16am:

Oh dear, oh dear. The news that Croydon has rejected the lease of a number of the surplus Edinburgh trams will come as no surprise to many people who have long realised that this "disaster on wheels" is simply heading to wholesale implosion.

It is too late to save it and those who are trying desperately to save their own reputations and professional credibility had better realise that there is little they can do apart from "mothball" the whole scheme until the world emerges from the current financial crisis.

But to have ordered "special" bespoke trams which are the largest in Europe - so can not be loaned or leased to anyone - and to have made them so different from all other cities, right down to the leather seats embossed with "Edinburgh Trams"  seems crass stupidity.

...
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