As I live quite far north of Edinburgh I only visit the city on the odd occasion but the trams fiasco does interest me.
For those of you who don't know, the Scottish Parliament decided Edinburgh did need trams to make a permanent scar across its distinct landscape but only the SNP government voted against it. John Swinney said he would fund it as proposed but the government would not provide a penny more than the quotation.
Edinburgh, like many Scottish cities, had trams until the 1960s when they were thought unsightly and unflexible with the growth of cars.
I'm sure Calum Cashley (he has excellent knowledge of this matter), will post on this in much more detail, but there have been regular disputes between TIE, the council-owned company overseeing the project and the contractors. One of the most crucial disputes has involved an independent arbiter. The issue was the £5m additional cost of building a retaining wall which required stronger foundations than originally planned for.
It is feared the ruling, which has seen the contractors BSC awarded 90% of the costs it originally claimed, will have a knock-on efect for the hundreds of points of dispute between TIE and the consortium, estimated to be worth up to £80m.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, the SNp Lothians MSP, sald :"This is very concerning. TIE have assured everyone that the reason they were taking matters to official dispute was that they were confident they would win their dispute with the contractor.
"If we are seeing the contractor substantially winning this dispute, it does not bode well for what happens with the other disputes that are outstanding."
John Carson, a former head of maintenance at Network Rail and a long-stading critic of the trams said: "... The ground conditions at Russell Road are not what they expected to find but they could have found out that there was a lot of sand and silt in the ground by looking at records kept by the Scottish Geological Society."
As previously stated, the Scottish government refuse to put any more cash towards the project so who is going to pay the extra required? I can see council tax in Edinburgh having to rise in an attempt to claw some extra funding. Surely Edinburgers won't mind because after all they'll have their much demanded shiny trams eventually and be happy to pay for them for a good few years.