Edinburgh’s unused tram tracks facing another round of repairs (11 May 2011)

I’m late catching up with the news today as I spent most of it in discussion about depression, particularly centred around the elderly and I will blog on that at a later date.

However, catching up with the news now what do I discover? Princes Street in my home city of Edinburgh is closing, yet again, to allow for tram works – and repairs.

I wouldn’t like to comment on the amount of times these tram tracks have been repaired and they have NEVER been used in the running of trams.  The damage to them comes from the use of the road into which they are embedded having a heavy volume of buses and taxis trundling along on top of them.

Dare I ask the question? OK.  If the rails can’t cope and need repaired without trams on them how on earth will they cope with trams? If they ever appear on the streets will I feel safe on them? No.
Now we have the situation that the tram lines are yet again being repaired, that no time can be given for the completion of any part of the tram works and that no one has any idea how much of the tram lines will actually be used.  Will they go to Haymarket? St Andrew’s Square? Where? Certainly not Newhaven as originally planned.

Don’t talk about the cost.  The cost doesn’t seem to be of any concern to the developers any longer.  What will be the final cost of the trams? Well, there’s still no guarantee they’ll ever be finished and there is still the chance that the project will be abandoned – that chance exists until they are finally completed – so if abandonment happens there’s the cost of reversing all the work and “tidying up”.  Rest assured, whatever the final outcome of this project is the bill will be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pounds above the original quote £545 million.  

Oh, and I’ve yet to meet a person that actually wants the trams.  I’ve met a few people who think they might be useful but never anyone who thinks they’ll benefit the city or that we’re crying out for them.

I’ve said since the year 
nineteen oatcake that work could have been done to extend the rail link out to the airport and I’m pretty sure that if that work had been undertaken it most certainly would almost be near completion.