Edinburgh chiefs decide to press on with tram plans

by Ella FAIRCHILD on July 1, 2011


Councillors in Edinburgh today decided that they will carry on with their city’s troubled tram project - shelling out another £200m to be found to fund it.

During an intense five-hour meeting, the council considered a string of options, which included altogether scrapping the project. Thankfully for those that would like to see trams in the Scottish capital, a majority backed the motion of the Liberal Democrats that proposed funding the line at a cost of just over £770m.

The original estimated cost of the line, which will run from Edinburgh International Airport to Newhaven, have been put at around £545m. At the meeting, four options were outlined and then presented before the council. To scrap the project altogether, £750m would have to have been raised.

A contractual dispute between Tie, a train company, and the contractors, Bilfinger Berger, has pushed the project completely over budget and also worryingly behind schedule. After initial meetings in Glasgow between Tie and Bilfinger Berger’s representatives, mediation talks are now understood to be taking place in an attempt to come to an agreement.

Back in May, a report specially published by Edinburgh’s City Council said that work thus far has cost the city roughly £440m - over 80% of the original allotted budget - with considerably huge sections of the track still yet to be completed.

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