Wednesday, 10 November 2010

It Will Be Nice When It's Finished

A kind Australian has composed the above video to show Edinburghers what their city may just look like in around 5 to 10 years' time.  Possibly nearer 10.

Meanwhile, back on the tracks - should there be any visible - Audit Scotland has begun an official investigation into the Capital's tram project after claims that it has been financially mismanaged.  The report will be issued early next year following a request from Robert Black, the Auditor General for Scotland.

A spokeswoman for Audit Scotland said:
"The auditors of the City of Edinburgh Council and Transport Scotland have been monitoring the project and its associated risks as part of their ongoing audits. This report will draw on their findings. 

"It is expected to be an interim report which will draw on the progress of the project to date, governance arrangements and the kind of issues which will need to be managed as the project moves forward." 

What good will an interim report do?  It's been obvious to anyone with any sense that this project is a total mess.  Overspent, mismanaged and even worse there seems to be serious doubt that any tram will ever run beyond the city centre.

What is needed is an inquiry which can dig out those responsible for this fiasco, name them and ensure they are publicly accountable for their actions.

Deja vu anyone?



English Pensioner said...

I can't remember being that impressed by the Melbourne trams other than the fact that they had one which ran on a circular route around the city centre for tourists which was free!
Personally, I still prefer the trolleybuses that we used to have in London; good acceleration, quiet, capable of going round parked vehicles and pollution free at the place of use. I can't understand the current obsession with trams.

Dramfineday said...

As someone from Nae Tram city- who didn't want them in the first place as we have a very good bus service - the question now is to finish or scrap? One of the realy brave things a project management team can do is to realise the thing isn't working and shut the project down. Count the cost, do the learning history and move on. On the other hand since circa £550 mill has been expended, do you spend more to finish it (and where do you get it)? Any way that it pans out leaves Edinburgh with egg on her face thanks to a combination, of poor understanding of the physical substrata and underground works, loss of control, poor delivery, and the need to have a capital vanity project. As a fairly frequent user of the A9 - I'd rather that the money had been spent on improving that.

As for my city, can I have it back please?

PS nice video - very well done.

Jeanne Tomlin said...

I live in a city with a lot of trams, railborne vehicles, or whatever you want to call them. (Being Americans we don't usually call them trams. You know how we are)

Anyway, I like them. They are efficient at moving large numbers of people, much more so than buses. Whether the Edinburgh one is a good idea, I don't know. They can be a great part of a well-planned mass transit system.

I wouldn't necessarily do a knee-jerk reaction that they're a terrible idea. Of course, I also live in a city divided by a river with a LOT of bridges (I forget... eight I think in the immediate area) and you lot get all excited about adding one.

Scots are strange sometimes. *shrug*

Jeanne Tomlin said...

I like our trams so much that I am about to take one across the city rather than drive. Go figure...

Not saying that one will be great, but I do shake my head sometimes. Really, I will sit back and read a book rather than stressing over traffic. It won't burn up tires or add diesel-fume pollution.

And they accuse Americans of being "automobile addicted".

Sorry. I'll shut up now. :-)

McGonagall said...

What a laughing stock Scotland has become that it can't even build a wee tram line. Once the world leader in engineering - now a third rate poseur.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Ms Tomlin. Trams are fine if they supply and serve a purpose and have a route that stretches beyond strolling distance.

Leg-iron said...

McGonagall - it hurts because it's true. The inventors of tarmac, the pneumatic tyre and the television (among many other things) can't sort out a couple of steel rails with a tram on top.

I remember Cardiff trams, barely. I remember the rails in the road long after they were stopped. It's old and uncomplicated technology and yet it seems to be such a difficult thing to apply.

Give it ten more years and no UK official will be able to grasp the concept of the wheel.

I bet they can still fill out expenses forms though.

subrosa said...

I can't understand the obsession either EP. Just more clutter in the city and Edinburgh has such a great bus service.

subrosa said...

I too think the money would have been better spent improving the A9 Dram. How man fatalities are there on that road a year? I know of at these 3 serious accidents in the past 4 months.

subrosa said...

This project is just a disaster Jeanne. Edinburgh centre has been like a building site for years. Also the city has possibly the best bus service in Scotland and many don't understand why tram, because they don't see too much benefit.

Aye we're a funny lot aren't we. :)

subrosa said...

The problem with the Edinburgh trams Jeanne is that it's not going across anywhere. Many people will have to get off and take a bus to complete their journey.

We just can't seem to do these public works projects with any success.

subrosa said...

True McGonagall. Even 50 years ago if someone had said we'd make a mess of a wee tram line, they'd have been pilloried.

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