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Edinburgh treads cautiously with Newhaven tram extension

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October 23 2018

Edinburgh treads cautiously with Newhaven tram extension

Edinburgh councillors have agreed to reach a final decision on whether or not to proceed with a planned tram extension to Newhaven until March 2019.

The concrete deadline follows an invitation for tenders in September for which evaluation is still ongoing after which best and final offers will be invited before a full business case is prepared.

Transport and environment convener councillor Lesley Macinnes explained: “We have adopted a very thorough and robust process for the Trams to Newhaven project throughout, learning crucial lessons from what went wrong previously.

"We have been very clear from the outset that we will not bring forward the Final Business Case for tram until we have vigorously tested the cost and time estimates with the market."

The delay will allow an extension of the consultation period through to 11 November.

7 Comments

Ruh-Roh
#1 Posted by Ruh-Roh on 23 Oct 2018 at 15:58 PM
A little birdy told me that the estimates for the new line hadn't taken into account dealing with any intersecting services down Leith Walk. But I'm sure that's fine. There probably won't be a telephone lines, sewers or power lines to pass over.
James Hepburn
#2 Posted by James Hepburn on 23 Oct 2018 at 16:28 PM
Is it a good idea to let Edinburgh City Council manage large scale projects like this? Their record is dismal.
alibi
#3 Posted by alibi on 23 Oct 2018 at 20:04 PM
How can any decisions or spending commitments possibly be made before the Trams Inquiry concludes? That's just bonkers. Particularly when said inquiry is costing more than £10m. Or is that the point of the delay?

#2 - I assumed this would be one for Transport Scotland to pick up, they seemed to do a great job on the latter chunk of the initial tram project. The problems seemed to just stop once they took over.
John
#4 Posted by John on 24 Oct 2018 at 09:47 AM
#3 I agree give it to Transport Scotland to manage. Since Edinburgh city made a complete hash of the last one.
John Grant
#5 Posted by John Grant on 26 Oct 2018 at 11:25 AM
I understand the council have learned the single most important lesson from the first phase - that council staff must not be allowed to authority so far outwith their competence that the increasing evidence of a disaster in the making was not recognised by the personnel in TIE. Professional project managers are, I believe, acting for the council and the leaks of caution and thorough pre-planning are providing a degree of reassurance that the phase one model is in the bin.
Lanarklad
#6 Posted by Lanarklad on 7 Nov 2018 at 14:03 PM
Re a wee birdy. The Leith walk utilities were all done in the earlier tram prep phases. They just never built the tracks beyond York Place. Anyone with knowledge of the project knows that.
lanarklad
#7 Posted by lanarklad on 7 Nov 2018 at 14:08 PM
Transport Scotland should have managed the whole tram project. They were asked to when things started going south - but in the deal where SG put up extra funds, Swinney refused and forced TfE to continue running the project because he was understandably concerned that no project dirt attached to the SG . Transport Scotland never ran the project at any point - not sure where that idea has emerged from. The enquiry remit should probably mean they will conclude it should have been TS all the way and SG should have allowed TS to take over when CEC asked.

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