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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Edinburgh Today

New Edinburgh Trams

News from January 2006

Please click on one of the links below, or scroll down this page to read about plans for Edinburgh's new tram system..

The estimated starting date for trams in now Summer, 2011.
UPDATE (See Jun 2009):  The start may now be delayed until Spring 2012.

Earlier News

2003-05

Earlier News.

2006

26.

Jan 06

Only One Tram Line for 2010

27.

Jan 06

Costs and Political Comments

28.

Feb 06

Scottish Parliament Debate

29.

Feb 06

Protecting the Badgers

30.

Feb 06

Tendering for Trams

31.

Mar 06

Parliamentary Committee approves Trams

32.

Mar 06

Parliamentary Vote

33.

Mar 06

Funding and Delay to 2011

34.

Mar 06

Initial Spending and Timetable

35.

May 06

Trams Boss leaves

36.

Jun 06

Chairman leaves

37.

Sep 06

Construction Delays

38.

Sep 06

Advertising

39.

Nov 06

Business Case

40.

Nov 06

Project Director leaves

41.

Dec 06

Tramline 3  -  Guided Busway?

42.

Dec 06

Charities Support Tram Lines

43.

Dec 06

Compensation to Shops

44.

Dec 06

Businesses Support Tram Lines

45.

Dec 06

Businesses Support Tram Lines

2007

46.

Jan 07

New Appointment

47.

Mar 07

Draft Business Case Approved:   Work to Begin

48.

Apr 07

Lack of Support

49.

Apr 07

Tunnel Problems

50.

May 07

SNP in Scottish Parliament will oppose Tram Proposals

51.

May 07

Edinburgh Council will support Tram Proposals

52.

May 07

Work Interrupted

53.

May 07

Pressure on SNP to support Trams

54.

Jun 07

SNP suggest alternatives to Trams

55.

Jun 07

Building Work Continues

56.

Jun 07

Edinburgh Councillors' Views

57.

Jun 07

Audit Report: 'The Scheme is Sound'

58.

Jun 07

Business and Educational Support

59.

Jun 07

'Yes vote' in Scottish Parliament

60.

Jul 07

Engineering Work to Begin

61.

Jul 07

Station Names

62.

Jul 07

Strong Case for Line 3

63.

Jul 07

Street Closures for Cars

64.

Jul 07

Ticket Machines

65.

Aug 07

More Utility Pipes Found

66.

Sep 07

Edinburgh's Trams

67.

Oct 07

Business Case and Tram Routes

68.

Nov 07

Leith Walk Clock

69.

Nov 07

Sherlock Holmes Statue

2008

70.

Jan 08

Road Closures

71.

Jan 08

Monuments to Move?

72.

Mar 08

Fixed Price for Line 1b to Granton

73.

Mar 08

Caledonian Ale House - demolition

74.

Aug 08

Bus Subsidy for Trams

75.

Sep 08

Leith Walk

76.

Oct 08

Princes Street - closed

77.

Oct 08

Trams to Gorebridge?

78.

Nov 08

Tram Boss departs

79.

Nov 08

Line to Granton - not to go ahead?

80.

Dec 08

Princes Street and Mound - closed

2009

81.

Feb 09

Contractors demand £80m

82.

Feb 09

Model Tram

83.

Feb 09

Critics' Comments

84.

Mar 09

Dispute Resolved

85.

Apr 09

TIE - New Chief Executive

86.

Apr 09

Princes Street  -  to be pedestrianised?

87.

Jun 09

9-month delay

88.

Jun 09

Princes Street  -  not to be pedestrianised?

89.

Jul 09

Two Years behind Schedule

90.

Jul 09

Sherlock Holmes Statue Moved

91.

Jul 09

Railway Station at Gogar

92.

Aug 09

Pedestrianisation

93.

Aug 09

Over Budget and Late

94.

Sep 09

Trams due to be delivered - to Croydon!

95.

Oct 09

Over £550m - but running in 2012?

96.

Oct 09

Tunnel Unearthed

97.

Nov 09

New Appointments

98.

Nov 09

Princes Street Opens to Traffic Again

99.

Nov 09

Cycling on Princes Street

100.

Dec 09

Princes Street - Road Begins to Crumble

101.

Dec 09

Tram Line 3

102.

Dec 09

Cycling on Princes Street

103.

Dec 09

Cycling on Princes Street

104.

Dec 09

Road Works  -  Shandwick Place

2010

105.

Apr 10

Two thirds of Cash Spent

106.

May 10

Gogar Interchange Approved

107.

May 10

Tram Parked in Princes Street

108.

Jun 10

Possible 2 or 3-Year Delay

Costs

109.

Jun 10

Only 18% of Infrastructure Work Completed

Call for a Referendum

110.

Jun 10

Impact on Lothian Buses

111.

Jun 10

Extra £55m Needed

Tram Route

112.

Jun 10

Tram Poll

113.

Jul 10

Princes Street Repairs

114.

Jul 10

Shandwick Place

115.

Jul 10

Dispute with Contractors

116.

Aug 10

Gogar Tram Depot

117.

Aug 10

Staff Costs

118.

Aug 10

Princes Street Tram

Business Case

119.

Sep 10

Tram Route

120.

Sep 10

Trams from March 2013

121.

Sep 10

Project Impasse

122.

Sep10

Princes Street

123.

Oct 10

Bilfinger Berger lays-off Staff

124.

Oct 10

Business Case

125.

Oct 10

Lothian Buses

126.

Oct 10

Tram Route to Foot of Leith Walk

127.

Nov 10

TIE Chairman Resigns

128.

Nov 10

Poem

129.

Nov 10

Cartoon

130.

Nov 10

Mediation

131.

Dec 10

The Future of TIE

132.

Dec 10

Business Case

2011

133.

Jan 11

Gogar Tram Depot

134.

Jan 11

TIE HR Director Leaves

135.

Jan 11

Princes Street Costs

136.

Feb 11

Audit Scotland Report

137.

Feb 11

Trams to be Leased?

How Many Trams are Needed?

138.

Feb 11

Tram Line 3

139.

Feb 11

Only 38% of Budget Remains

140.

Mar 11

Airport Ticket Office

141.

Feb 11

Princes Street

142.

Feb 11

Mediation

143.

Apr 11

Airport to Haymarket

144.

May 11

TIE Chief Executive Resigns

145.

Jun 11

Cost of Cancellation

146.

Jun 11

Four Directors Quit

147.

Jun 11

Council Meeting - June 30, 2011

148.

Jun 11

Half of TIE Staff to Leave

July 2011 to April 2014

I've continued to read press reports of progress towards the launch of Edinburgh's new trams.  I've cut out the press reports in the hope of summarising them for the EdinPhoto web site - if I ever catch up with my backlog of other work for the site!

Progress seems to have gone better over the past year, and in late-2013 a planned launch date of 'May 2014' was announced for the trams.

May 2014

149.

May 14

Launch Date announced  -  May 31, 2014

 

26.

Update:  January 2006

Recommendations

Edinburgh Council announced on 19 January 06:

- Tomorrow, 20 January 06, the council will issue a report on the proposed tram lines, to be discussed at a full council meeting on 26 January 06. 

-  This report will state that, due to costs having risen from £473m to £714m, the council is no longer able to afford the the whole of Lines 1 and 2 at this stage, and it therefore recommends that the following should  be shelved:

-  the western and northern parts of  Line 1, running  from Leith via Granton to join Line 2 near Haymarket.

-  the eastern end of Line 2, linking Edinburgh Airport and Newbridge.

 

Phase 1

This leaves just a single line, to be known as Phase 1, from Ocean Terminal, Leith to Edinburgh Airport, to go ahead in 2010. 

Please click on the map below to enlarge it.

Map by John Bartholomew & Son Ltd.  -  The whole city of Edinburgh, 1925 - showing the proposed tram lines for 2010 onwards, as planned at January 2006. ©

 

Phase 2

The western part of Line 2, linking Princes Street and Granton, through Edinburgh Waterfront, is to be known as Phase 2.  This will be shelved unless the project can be delivered under budget.  The promoters still say that delivery under budget is possible.

Please click on the picture below to see the land that has already been prepared for Line 1, beside Waterfront Avenue to the south-west of Granton Harbour.

Edinburgh Waterfront  -  Waterfront Avenue, photographed four days after it opened ©

Waterfront Avenue

 

Phase 3

The northern part of Line 2 linking Granton, Newhaven  and Leith is to be known as Phase 3.

 

Phase 4

The western end of Line 1, linking Edinburgh Airport and Newbridge is to be known as Phase 4.

 

Edinburgh Evening News  January 19, 2006,  pp.1,4

 

27.

Update:  January 2006

Costs

The cost of the line for Phase 1, from Ocean Terminal to Edinburgh Airport is estimated to be £484m.

The funding expected  from the Scottish Executive, if the tram bill is passed in the Scottish Parliament, around March 2006, is expected to be £490m.

In addition, Edinburgh Council has raised £45m, mainly from taxes on land close to the proposed lines.  This gives a total of £529m and leaves a surplus of £51m to be put towards Phase 2, the line linking Haymarket and Granton.

 

Political Comments

Labour: "It is more important to have a 'core' tram route in place as soon as possible"  Donald Anderson, Council Leader,  supporting of the proposals

"We will complete all the lines in a phased manner."
Andrew Burns, Transport Leader.

Green Party:  "If the council cannot provide public transport to get people out of their cars, then the future of the redevelopment of Granton will be undermined."
Mark Ballard, Lothian Green MSP

Liberal Democrat: "Edinburgh has talked for too long about a real effective mass transit link from the western suburbs of Edinburgh and on to Leith.  The council must act now or be condemned for inaction by future generations"
Phil Wheeler,  Liberal Democrat transport spokesman.

SNP: "Trams were removed from Edinburgh for a very good reason and the plans should be scrapped now.
Steve Cardownie, SNP Councillor

 

Edinburgh Evening News  January 20, 2006,  pp.8,9

 

28.

Update:  February 2006

£500,000 for Badger Protection

Figures for the cost of protecting badgers on the new tram routes have been released to the Evening News under the Freedom of Information Act.

 It is estimated that to protect badgers from the trams, by creating a series of "safe runs" using bridges, tunnels and fencing, could cost £540,000.

These costs include:

 

-  £320,000 for 11km of fencing.

-  £40,000 for a network of tunnels for the badgers.

-  £20,000 for re-housing the badgers while the line is being built.

- £85,000 for wildlife experts who will monitor the workers and the badgers!

Badgers are a legally protected species.  It is estimated that about  35 badgers live close to the proposed track -  four families near Edinburgh Airport and two families in the Roseburn Urban Wildlife Corridor on the route between Haymarket and Granton.

 

Edinburgh Evening News  February 2, 2006,  p.5

  

29.

Update:  February 2006

Scottish Parliament Debate

Members of the Scottish Parliament's Edinburgh Trams (Line One) Committee are due to question Edinburgh Council leader, Donald Anderson, and TIE leader, Michael Howell, tomorrow.

Edinburgh Council announced on January 19 that Phase 1 of the system would provide only one line, from Leith to Edinburgh Waterfront.  However, MSPs are likely to demand that the trams serve the Waterfront population which includes areas near Newhaven and Granton.

The article comments that Edinburgh Waterfront's population is going to be the equivalent of the population of Perth, Scotland.

Edinburgh Evening News  February 6, 2006,  p.17

 

30.

Update:  February 2006

Tendering for Trams

TIE have selected four companies from 11 who applied to tender for the design and supply of trams to Edinburgh.  The final choice is expected to  be made during 2006.

The four companies currently bidding are:

-  from Germany:  Bombardier and Siemens

-  from France:  Alstom

-  from Spain:  CAF

Edinburgh will require the trams to accommodate at least 200 passengers, have low  level boarding, CCTV cameras, real time information displays and public address systems.

 

Edinburgh Evening News  February 28, 2006,  p.7

 

31.

Update:  March 2006

Parliamentary Committee approve Trams

After two years' consideration, and listening to many objections, Members of the Scottish Parliament's Edinburgh Trams (Line One) Committee have now approved the route proposed  by Edinburgh Council.

The line will use the Roseburn corridor, rather than pass directly past the Western General Hospital.  A shuttle bus service will be provided to from the tram route to the hospital.

The Parliamentary Committee expressed disappointment that funding problems had resulted in shelving part of the proposed route and said that it was "essential" for the section from Haymarket to Granton (coloured yellow on the map below) to be built as soon as possible.

The committee ruled that construction work should not take place on Saturday afternoons in order to lessen disruption to shoppers and traders.  The trams are now scheduled to be operational by July 2010, but might the shorter hours for construction result in further delays?

Please click on the map below to enlarge it.

Map by John Bartholomew & Son Ltd.  -  The whole city of Edinburgh, 1925 - showing the proposed tram lines for 2010 onwards, as planned at March 2006.

All MSPs will vote on the Bills for the two tram lines later in March 2006.  They will be recommended by their Parliamentary Committees to vote in favour of the routes proposed by Edinburgh Council, even though it will not be possible to  build these routes in their entirety, initially.

 

Edinburgh Evening News  March 1, 2006,  p.2

 

32

Update:  March 2006

Parliamentary Vote

The Scottish Parliament debated Tramline 2, the line to Edinburgh Airport, on March 22.. 

David Letchie, former Tory Leader  and Kenny MacAskill, Scottish National MSP questioned the business case for the line, but Sarah Boyack, Central Edinburgh MSP and former Transport Minister spoke out strongly in favour of the line.

MSPs voted 88 to 20 in favour of the Bill for the tramline to go ahead.

They are due to debate Tramline 1 next week, on March 29, 2006.

Edinburgh Evening News  March 23 2006,  p.8

 

33.

Update:  March 2006

Funding and Delay

After studying a detailed audit of all the Scottish Executive's major transport commitments, Tavish Scott, Transport Minister in the Scottish Parliament has confirmed the parliament's support for these projects.

He confirmed that the Scottish Parliament had agreed that funding for the trams will be increased to take account of inflation, so increasing the Scottish Executive's contribution from £375m to £450-500m for the tram line from Edinburgh Airport to Ocean Terminal.  (I thought the funding would have been for the line from Edinburgh Airport to Newhaven.)

However, he now estimates that the new tram system will not be operational until early 2011.  The previous estimate was July 2010.

Other Edinburgh Transport Proposals

Tavish Scott also gave these estimates for other transport proposals:

-   Rail Link to Edinburgh Airport  -  now expected to open in 2011
(1 year later than expected).

-   Waverley Line to the Borders  -  now expected to re-open in 2011
 (3 years later than expected).

-   Waverley Station improvements, phase 1 -  expected 2007 (on time).

 

Edinburgh Evening News  March 16, 2006,  p.11

 

34.

Update:  March 2006

Initial Spending

TIE say that by Autumn 2006 between £50m and £60m will have been spent on the Tramline proposals, including £23.5m on consultant fees.

Despite the Scottish Parliament having given their approval, concern over costs continues to be expressed in the columns of the Edinburgh Evening News.  Yellow ribbons have been tied to trees in the Roseburn Corridor as a mark of protest.

Timetable

The timetable, now, at March 2006 is:

May 2006

Parliamentary Bills to be passed.

Summer 2006

Tenders for construction of the tramlines.

Summer 2006

Traffic Management Plan to be drawn up.

Sept 2006

Councillors consider the final business case and decide whether to go ahead.

Autumn 2006

Business Case presented to Scottish Executive.

Dec 2006/Jan 2007

Gas pipes and water mains to be moved.

Autumn 2007

Laying of tram lines begins.

Early 2010

Testing of trams on the network

1 July 2010

First day of operation

2015

Further phases of network completed.

 

Edinburgh Evening News  March 30, 2006,  pp.6-7

 

35.

Update:  May 2006

Trams Boss leaves

It was announced on May 9 that Ian Kendall, Head of the Edinburgh Trams project, has had his contract terminated amid fears that there may be further delays in the scheme and that TIE may miss the Autumn 2006 deadline for presenting a business case to the Ministers of the Scottish Parliament.

Ian Kendall is an Australian who has managed previous team bids including Manchester, Leeds and the London borough of Croydon.  He was never formerly employed by TIE but had a contract with TIE in the name of his own management company.

TIE Chief Executive, Michael Howell has now taken temporary control of the project.  He claims that the project is still on schedule to meet the 2010 deadline for operation.

Edinburgh Evening News  May, 2006

Ian Kendall has been replaced by Andie Harper, a former director of London Underground who saw the completion of the London Underground's Jubilee Line.

However, Ian Kendall is also being retained by TIE as a private consultant for at least the next 3 to 6 months.

Edinburgh Evening News  May 25, 2006:  p.9

Edinburgh Evening News  June 14, 2006,  pp.1-2

 

36.

Update:  June 2006

Chairman leaves

A second high profile departure from TIE has been announced.

Michael Howard, Chief Executive of TIE is to leave in July 2006 and to move to London to become Chairman of the City & Guilds of London Institute.

Willie Gallagher, who was appointed TIE Chairman in early June 06, is to take on most of Michael Howard's duties.

The TIE project has continued to have problems, missed deadlines and technical design problems, but Michael Howell claims: "Things are in good shape."

Edinburgh Evening News  June 14, 2006,  pp.1-2

Two further departures from TIE have been announced.  Project Director, Alex Macauley, is expected to leave and Assistant Project Director, Willie Fraser has resigned for personal reasons.

However, Edinburgh Council leader, Donald Anderson, remained optimistic saying:

"I am very confident TIE and the council are in a much better position to deliver the project than ever before."

Edinburgh Evening News  June 16, 2006,  p.6

New Chairman's Comments

Shortly after taking up his appointment as TIE Chairman, Willie Gallagher spoke to the Edinburgh Evening News:

Here are some extracts from Willie Gallagher comments to the News:

- TIMESCALE:  "We will make that deadline (June 2010).  There's a lot of key events to hit in the next few months"

- ROUTE CUTBACKS:  "What we have now is a sensible route, the characteristics of which support the wider rail transport network.  It operates where you have high volumes of people wanting to move to parts of the city to work or visit."

-  POSSIBLE FURTHER ROUTE CUTS:  "At this point we are going with the route that everyone is aware of.  If there are parts of the system where the costs don't recognise the benefits, then that would have to be looked at.

Truthfully, I don't see the Airport to Newbridge section happening.  We are gung ho about all the rest and are pushing hard."

Will we ever build a Newbridge link or a link between Granton and Leith?  I think, no because if we had the money to do it, then there are other bits - such as the Western General Hospital link that we would do first."

Edinburgh Evening News  June 23, 2006:  pp18-19

 

37.

Update:  September 2006

Construction Delays

Work to remove gas pipes and water mains along the routes of the trams was expected to begin in January 2006 but has now been put back until at least March or April 2007, due to delays in drawing up contracts.

There is concern that the work may be delayed until after the Local Council Elections in May 2007.  Digging up roads would be likely to result in disruption and congestion, which would be unpopular with voters.

TIE confirmed that the first trams are now expected to carry passengers in 2011, with the first trams being tested from early 2010 onwards.

Edinburgh Evening News: Sep 29, 2006, p5  AND  Herald & Post, October 5, 2006,  p9

 

38.

Update:  September 2006

Advertising Campaign

TIE has launched a £100,000 advertising campaign to "win the hearts and minds" of the Edinburgh public.  There will be advertising in newspapers, on the radio and on buses and bus shelters with the message:

"It's Time For Trams."

Edinburgh Evening News: Sep 29, 2006, p5

 

39.

Update:  November 2006

Business Case

Edinburgh Transport Forum is to host a public meeting on trams on November 29, 2006.

A business case is being developed for the trams, to be voted on by the City of Edinburgh Council on December 22, 2006, then submitted to the Scottish Parliament for approval of  funding.

By Christmas 2006, it is expected that £62m will already have been spent on the proposals for Tram Lines One and Two.

The design detail for the project will not become available until January 2007 at the earliest.

Edinburgh Evening News  November 28, 2006,  p12

 

40.

Update:  November 2006

Project Director leaves

After only six months in his position as Project Director, Andie Harper, formerly of London Underground, has decided not to renew his contract with TIE, for personal reasons - difficulty in commuting between Warrington and Edinburgh

He will be the 4th senior person to have left the project this year.

-  May 9,  2006:   Ian Kendall, Project chief.

-  Jun, 2006:        Michael Howell, Chief Executive.

-  Dec 22, 2006:  Andie Harper, Project chief.

Edinburgh Evening News  November 29, 2006,  p5

 

41.

Update:  December 2006

Tram Line 3  -  Guided Busway

Tram Line 3, from the City Centre to Newcraighall, via Cameron Toll and the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at Little France was shelved indefinitely when the Council's proposals for congestion charges were defeated in the referendum of April 2005.

However, the Council has now announced a feasibility study into a guided busway along the land already safeguarded for Tramline 3 between Cameron Toll and the ERI.  This could be the first step towards the council long-term wish to create Tram Line 3.

The feasibility study is not likely to be completed before 2008.

Edinburgh Evening News  November 29, 2006,  p5

 

42.

Update:  December 2006

Charities support Tram Lines

Eleven  charities and conservation organisations have now come out in support of trams for Edinburgh, and are encouraging Edinburgh Councillors to vote in favour of the proposals on December 21, 2006

They favour trams on the grounds that they will be less polluting and better for the environment than buses.

The organisations concerned are:

-  Capability Scotland

-  The Cockburn Association

-  Friends of the Earth Scotland

-  National Trust for Scotland

-  RSPB, Scotland

-  Scottish Association for Public Transport

-  Scottish Environment LINK

-  Stop Climate Chaos

-  TRANSform Scotland

-  Voluntary Health Scotland

-  WWF Scotland

Edinburgh Evening News  December 16, 2006,  p2

 

43.

Update:  December 2006

Compensation to Shops

Following lengthy negotiations between TIE and the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, it has been announced that shops that see their profits fall as a result of disruption caused by preparations for Edinburgh's trams, will be given cuts of up to 80% in their business rates.

Edinburgh Evening News  December 20, 2006,  p19.

 

44.

Update:  December 2006

Businesses support Tram Lines

Seventeen organisations including some of Scotland's largest businesses have signed a letter to be sent to all councillors, urging them to back the proposals for new tram lines at their meeting on December 21, 2006.

The organisations include:

-  Standard Life

-  Scottish Widows

-  Marks & Spencer

-  Oracle

-  Edinburgh Airport

-  Forth Ports Authority

-  Edinburgh International Conference Centre

-  Edinburgh University

-  Heriot Watt University

-  Telford College

It is expected that:

-  Tram Line 1, from Leith to Edinburgh Airport will open in December 2020

-  Tram Line 2 to Edinburgh Waterfront will open one year later.

Edinburgh Evening News  December 19, 2006,  p17

 

45.

Update:  December 2006

Council Votes 'Yes'

Edinburgh Councillors at their Meeting on December 21 overwhelmingly  supported the  business case to  be submitted to the Scottish Parliament in favour of re-introducing trams to Edinburgh.

Only one councillor, Deputy Lord Provost Steve Cardownie (Nationalist) voted against the proposals.  Kate Mackenzie (Conservative) abstained.

Edinburgh Evening News  December 22, 2006,  p5

 

46.

Update:  January 2007

New Appointment

Matthew Crosse has been appointed to take charge of the Edinburgh trams project, replacing Andrew Harper who left in 2006.

Matthew Cross is founder of independent management consultancy 'Strategic Lines' based in Derbyshire, and has worked on several tram schemes in the UK including Nottingham, Croydon and Midland Metro.

Edinburgh Evening News  January 16, 2007:  p.9

 

47.

Update:  March 2007

Draft Business Case Approved

The Scottish Executive has its given its approval in principle to the draft business plan for Edinburgh's trams.  A final business case will be assessed in the autumn

It has also been confirmed that those over age 60 and the disabled will be able to travel free on the trams.

Work to Begin

Work will to begin on diverting the water, gas and electricity pipes away from the proposed tram route.  The first street to be dug up, as a trial site, will be Tower Place, Leith, beginning on April 2, 2007.  Work on this section of the line will stop over the Easter holidays and should be completed by mid-May 2007.

City Leader, Ewen Aitken said:

"We've been talking about and preparing for trams for years.  But now is the time to make it a reality and actually start work on the ground.

I promised that we wouldn't let the small matter of an election get in the way of this important project and we've delivered on that."

It is estimated that the tram line between Leith and Edinburgh Airport will be completed by Christmas 2010.

Edinburgh Evening News  March 16, 2007:  p.2
Edinburgh Evening News  March 31, 2007:  p.6
 

 

48.

Update:  April 2007

Lack of Support

Local and Scottish Parliament elections are due to be held on May 3, 2007.

Ahead of these elections, Mike Graham of radio station 'Talk 107' hosted a pre-election debate before an all-ticket audience of 250.

The 'Evening News' reported that transport issues were high on the agenda.

 Labour, Lib Dem, Tory and Green  politicians all spoke in favour of the trams; SNP's Steve Cardownie was a lone voice in opposition.  However,  in the audience, less than a third of those present supported the proposed tram scheme.

Edinburgh Evening News  April 18, 2007:  pp.10-11

 

49.

Update:  April 2007

Tunnel Problems

The 'Evening News' reported that the extent of the network of tunnels beneath the roads between Leith and Haymarket has taken engineers by surprise. 

These tunnels about 3 ft wide, 6 ft high, were built to enable mechanics to service the cables that hauled cable cars through the streets of Edinburgh.  Cable cars operated in Edinburgh between 1888 and 1923.in the early 1900s.

Edinburgh Evening News  April 19, 2007:  p.9

 

50.

Update:  May 2007

Scottish Parliament Elections

The Scottish National Party emerged as the leading party with 47 seats, but not an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament elections held on May 3, 2007.

The number of MSP (Members of the Scottish Parliament elected at this election and at the first Scottish Parliament election held in 2003 was:

 

2007

2003

Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

17

18

Scottish Green Party

2

7

Scottish Labour

46

50

Scottish Liberal Democrats

16

17

Scottish National Party

47

27

Scottish Socialist Party

0

6

Independents and other parties

1

4

TOTAL

129

129

 

SNP oppose the Trams Proposals

Scottish National Party MSP, Kenny MacAskill, said, on May 9:

"Our opposition to the trams is absolute.  ...  We are determined that trams go because, locally, they are not wanted and, nationally, we world rather the money is spent on other schemes."

He claimed that if the SNP takes control of Holyrood, they would simply stop the funding both for Edinburgh's trams and the proposed rail link to Edinburgh Airport, and would use the saving of £1.1bn for other transport improvements across Scotland.

Politicians from the Labour, Lib Dem, Tory parties and the Chamber of Commerce were all quoted in the Evening News expressing their opposition to the SNP's stance.

Edinburgh Evening News  May 9, 2007:  pp.1,7

 

51.

Edinburgh City Council Elections

The number of councillors in Edinburgh City Council, following the elections held on May 3, 2007 is now:

 

2007

previously

Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party

11

13

Scottish Green Party

3

0

Scottish Labour

15

30

Scottish Liberal Democrats

17

14

Scottish National Party

12

1

TOTAL

58

58

 

Edinburgh Council will continue to support Trams Proposals

Twenty three years of Labour power in Edinburgh ended today when it was announced that:

- the SNP and Liberal Democrats have formed a coalition to run Edinburgh City Council.  (Together they hold 29 of Edinburgh's 58 seats.)

-  the Tories have pledged not to oppose the election of a Lib Dem Lord Provost next week.  (The Lord Provost holds the casting vote.)

The Liberal Democrats say that, despite the SNP view on trams, they (the Liberal Democrats) will continue to support Edinburgh's tram proposals.

Schemes more likely to hit problems under the new regime are proposals to sell off the Meadowbank Sports Centre and granting of approval of the proposed Caltongate development in Waverley valley.

Edinburgh Evening News  May 11, 2007:  pp.1,8,9.

 

52.

Update:  May 2007

Work Interrupted

The £60m roadworks to divert utility cables and pipes from under the route of the trams began before Easter.  It stopped, as planned, during the Easter holiday period, but is now not expected to begin again until July 2007.

However, a spokesman for TIE claimed that the work is still on schedule and pointed out that off-street work, including construction of the new tram depot at Gogar is continuing.

Meanwhile, politicians in other parties are considering the approach likely to be taken by the Scottish Parliament as First Minister, SNP Leader, Alex Salmond continues to oppose trams for Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Evening News  May 25, 2007, p.9

 

53.

Update:  May 2007

Pressure on SNP to Support Trams

Business leaders,  MSPs from all opposition parties, and City of Edinburgh councillors all made appeals to SNP leader, Alex Salmond, today, to change his mind and support Edinburgh's proposals for trams.

Labour, Liberal Democrat and Tory parties joined forces to force an amendment in the Scottish Parliament, demanding that the trams project "should not be arbitrarily delayed or cancelled" but this did not have the desired effect.  The SNP accepted the amendment, claiming that any delay or cancellation would not be arbitrary!

A survey by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, which represents 1,700 companies in Edinburgh  found that 75% of the businesses are still in favour of trams for Edinburgh.

Charles Hammond, Chief Executive of Forth Ports Authority said:

 "Economically, socially and environmentally, the tram  is absolutely pivotal to the regeneration of North Edinburgh"

Other business leaders spoke in favour of the trams.  Some of Edinburgh's major businesses have come together to place adverts in The Scotsman and The Evening News, setting out the arguments in favour of trams.

Edinburgh Evening News  May 30, 2007, p.13 (survey)

Edinburgh Evening News  May 31, 2007, pp.6-7 (other news)

 

54.

Update:  June 2007

SNP Suggest Alternatives to Trams

Alex Salmond, First Minister and SNP Leader has promised that a full review of Edinburgh's tram scheme is to be presented to Parliament.  The review is to be carried out by Audit Scotland, who will review the process used to assess costs and risks of the project.  The review is due to be completed  by June 20, 2007.

Expressing the views of the SNP, he said he favoured:

-  guided bus lanes on much of the tram route

-  initiatives to use hybrid fuels

-  improved ticketing

-  installation of real-time information on all bus stops

-  better park-and-ride sites.

A guided but route to Edinburgh Airport was planned in the 1990s, but abandoned in 2001.

Independent Lothians MSP, Margo MacDonald says she will consider tabling a motion of no-confidence in Mr Salmond if he ignores the will of parliament over trams.

Edinburgh Evening News,  June 6 2007, p.2 (The Review)

Edinburgh Evening News,  June 1,  2007, p.2 (other topics)

 

55.

Update:  June 2007

Building Work Continues

Despite the SNP's declared intention to scrap two major transport systems for Edinburgh  -  the trams and the rail link to Edinburgh Airport  -  building work for the to create a new £3m tram depot to the north of Gogar roundabout is continuing.

TIE say that £79m has already been spent on the trams project, and the total cost would b e £114m if it were abandoned.

The Scotsman, June 4, 2007:  pp1,4,5

 

56.

Update:  June 2007

Edinburgh Councillors' Views

Following the elections held in May 2007, power in Edinburgh's Council rests with the SNP / Liberal Democrats coalition.

Jenny Dawe is the leader of the Liberal Democrats on the council, and also council leader.  The Liberal Democrats are in favour of trams for Edinburgh.

Steve Cardownie is the leader of the SNP on the council, also deputy council leader.  The SNP are opposed to trams for Edinburgh.  Steve Cardonie suggests that there should be a referendum on the subject.

The SNP and Liberal Democrats know each other's views on trams.  They say that they have not found the need to discuss the subject since their coalition on the council was formed in May 2007.

The Scotsman, June 4, 2007:  pp1,4,5

 

57.

Update:  June 2007

Audit Report

"The Scheme is Sound"

The headline in Edinburgh Evening News on June 20, 2007, referring to Edinburgh's tram proposals read:

 "Get on with it!"

The paper announced that the report by Audit Scotland to the Scottish Parliament, had been published today and had concluded:

-  Edinburgh's trams are likely to arrive on time, early 2011, and on budget.

-  Edinburgh Airport Rail Link is unlikely to meet its target date of 2011.

The SNP have declared that they will continue to oppose both the trams and the rail link.  However, opposition parties have all declared their support for the trams, so if the opposition parties unite at next week's vote in the Scottish Parliament they are likely to defeat the SNP and so allow the trams to go ahead.

Edinburgh Evening News, June 20, 2007:  pp.1,5

 

58.

Update:  June 2007

Business and Educational Support

Two days ahead of the vote in the Scottish Parliament, leading Edinburgh businesses and educational institutions have declared their support for the trams.

Those declaring their support include:

-  Edinburgh University

-  Telford College

-  Standard Life

-  Edinburgh Principal Hotel Association

-  Harvey Nichols.

Others have declined to comment.  Notably:

-  Royal Bank of Scotland

-  Bank of Scotland

Edinburgh Evening News, June 25, 2007:  page 7

 

59.

Update:  June 2007

'Yes Vote' in Scottish Parliament

MSPs voted in favour of pressing ahead with Edinburgh's trams, voting in favour of the scheme, 81 votes to 47.

Following this vote, the Scottish Executive declared that they would support the scheme, but they would not foot the bill for any extra cash, should it be needed.

Metro, June 28, 2007:  page 9

 

60.

Update:  July 2007

Engineering Work to Begin

Engineering work, diverting electricity, gas and water supplies before the tram tracks are laid, will begin at Ocean Drive, Leith Docks, next week.

Metro, July 2, 2007:  p.10

 

Proposed Work

Willie Gallagher, Chairman of TIE has announced that in preparation for the trams:

-   Engineering work will begin in Leith Walk on August 6, 2007.

-   Engineering work will begin in Princes Street in October, 2007.

-   Pavements on Princes Street are to be narrowed.

-  Leith Walk will be reduced to one lane of traffic each way with the trams running down the middle of the street.

-   Many of the parking spaces along the route will be removed.

-   The Sherlock Holmes statue in Picardy Place is to be moved.

Edinburgh Evening News, July 24, 2007:  pp.1,6,7

Timetable

Today, TIE  announces a full timetable for work over the next 18 months.

The preferred bidders for the vehicles and line building are due to be announced in September 2007.

Edinburgh Evening News, July 24, 2007:  pp.6-7

 

 

61.

Update:  July 2007

Station Names

Transport Edinburgh Ltd (the firm that will operate the city's trams and buses) has revealed a new map of the route, with station names.  Some of the stations have been re-named:

Old name

New name

Ocean Drive

Port of Leith

South Gyle

Balgreen

Granton Waterfront

Saltire Square

Granton Square

Granton

West Granton

West Pilton

Edinburgh Evening News, July 24, 2007:  pp.6-7

 

 

62.

Update:  July 2007

A Strong Case for Line 3

Willie Gallagher, TIE Chairman said that the case for Line 3, a line to the New Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and possibly on to Portobello and Musselburgh, was still strong and that city leaders should start planning for this now.

Edinburgh Evening News, July 24, 2007:  pp.6-7

 

 

63.

Update:  July 2007

Street Closures for Cars

It is proposed that, in order to accommodate the trams:

-   Shandwick Place will be open only to trams, buses and taxis.

-   Constitution Street, Leith, will be open only to trams.

TIE will release a final design of the tram route in August 2007.

Edinburgh Evening News, July 24, 2007:  pp.6-7

 

 

64.

Update:  July 2007

Ticket Machines

Ticket machines are now being installed on the pavements at selected points  mainly in the city centre.  More will be installed early 2008.

The machines can be used from mid-August 2007 onwards to buy tickets for buses but will be adapted when the trams arrive to sell both bus and tram tickets.  There will be no facilities to buy tickets on board the trams.

Both trams and buses are likely to be branded under the same name and to be in the same colours.

Edinburgh Evening News, July 24, 2007:  pp.6-7

 

 

65.

Update:  August 2007

More Utility Pipes Found

Workers have dug trial holes before preparing to move the utility pipes from under Leith Walk.  Despite a four-month scanning and mapping survey having been carried out in 2006, the workers have found three times the number of pipes that they expected.

TIE say that they had been prepared for this discovery and that it will not delay the introduction of trams ot Edinburgh.

Schedule of Work

The schedule for work on re-routing the cables is:

-  August / September '07:  Leith Walk

-  October '07:  Princes Street

-  November '07:  Haymarket

-  December '07:  Edinburgh Park

 

Edinburgh Evening News, August 27, 2007:  p.4

Edinburgh Evening News, August 30, 2007:  p.17

 

66.

Update:  September 2007

Edinburgh's Trams

The first images of how Edinburgh's trams will look were released today.  The proposed livery matches the new livery for Lothian Buses -  a red and yellow harlequin pattern on white:

Lothian Buses  -  Terminus  -  Mayfield  -  Route 29 ©

There will be 27 trams, each able to carry 250 passengers at up to 49mph.  They are to be built by the Spanish firm, CAF - the company that supplied the trains for the London Heathrow Express.

Tickets and Inspectors

Passengers will buy tickets from roadside machines before boarding the tram, or pay a penalty fare on board. 

There will be inspectors on all tram journeys, to act as a point of contact for passengers and to check tickets,

There will be remote controlled partitions to close off parts of the trams at quieter times.

Edinburgh Evening News, September 20, 2007: pp.1, 7

 

67.

Updates:  October 2007

Business Case

The new Business Case for Edinburgh's trams has been prepared.  It estimates that the trams will be delivered on time with the service operating from February 25, 2011.

The total cost is estimated to  be £498m  -  £47m less than the £545m available (£500m from the Scottish Government and £45m from Edinburgh Council).

This raises hopes that it will be possible to also build phase 1b, from Haymarket to Granton by the end of 2012.  A decision on phase 1b will be made in 2009.

The business case estimates that the cost of building phases 1a and 1b will be £585m, down £7m from the previous official estimate.  It is expected that 11m passengers will use the trams in their first year.

Edinburgh Evening News, October 18, 2007:  p.5

Tram Routes

The best way to accommodate trams cars and cycles in Leith Walk is still under discussion.  It is proposed that trams will run down the centre of the street and that the roundabout at the top of Leith Walk will be replaced by a T-junction.  It is also proposed that:

-  The pavement on the south side of Princes Street will be narrowed.

-  Shandwick Place will be only open to trams and buses

-  Constitution Street, Leith, will be partially closed

-  Torphichen Street will be re-opened to traffic in both directions

Final designs for the tram route are due to be published, early 2008.

Edinburgh Evening News, October 19, 2007:  p.6

 

68.

Updates:  November 2007

Leith Walk Clock

The clock that stands in the roundabout at the junction of Leith Walk and London Road was removed this week to enable the roundabout to be converted to a 'T-junction' to make way for the new tram route.

The clock has been put into storage and will be replaced somewhere in the area, its exact position not yet decided, once the tram line is complete.

The 1857* clock was previously located at the West End of Princes Street, beside what is now Fraser's store, but it has been in its present position for the past 40 years.

* A later article in the Evening News (Dec 15, 2007: p3) gives a date of 1897 for the clock.

Edinburgh Evening News, November 19, 2007: p.3.

 

69.

Updates:  November 2007

Sherlock Holmes Statue

The Sherlock Homes Statue, a short distance away, in Picardy Place, close to the top of Broughton Street is also to be removed.  This will be to make way for a tram / bus interchange.

Edinburgh Evening News, November 19, 2007: p.3.

 

70.

Updates:  January 2008

Road Closures

Roads affected by  the preparation work for Edinburgh's trams include:

-  Shandwick Place:  to be closed for 5 months from mid-Feb 2008

-  Princes Street to be reduced temporarily to one lane in each directions.

-  St Andrew Square.

All work should be completed in time for the Edinburgh Festival in August 2008.

Edinburgh Evening News, January 9, 2008:  pp.1,11.

UPDATE:  Shandwick Place was closed from early-March 2008.  The diversions worked well.

This was followed later in the year by major diversions around Leith Walk and at Haymarket.

 

71.

Updates:  January 2008

Monuments to Move?

It may become necessary to move the large statues of George IV and William Pitt from the centre of George Street, in order to allow buses and other traffic, diverted from Princes Street,  to flow more smoothly along George Street.

The statues have been in their present positions since 1922 and 1833 respectively.

Edinburgh Evening News, January 9, 2008:  pp.1,11.

UPDATE:  The diversions are now in place.  It was not necessary to move the statues.

 

72.

Updates:  March 2008

Fixed Price for Line 1b to Granton

TIE has secured a fixed price of £87m to build tram line 1b, between Roseburn and Granton, provided it can commit to the project by Spring 2009.

If TIE do not take up this option, it will have to pay a penalty fee of £3.2m.

TIE has put a project team together to consider the funding of this line, and hopes that the line will be open by the end of 2012.

Edinburgh Evening News, March 13, 2008:  p.5..

UPDATE:  Funding of line 1b has been dependent of TIE's £96m contingency fund remaining available.  However, the Evening News reported on April 22, 2008, that the strength of the euro against the pound had resulted in a £30m loss for the project, that would have to be met from the contingency fund.

 

73.

Updates:  March 2008

Caledonian Ale House - demolition

Caledonian Ale House at Haymarket, built in 1862 and known as the Haymarket Station Bar until 1995, was compulsory purchased two years ago. It is to be demolished next month to make way for the new tram line.

Edinburgh Evening News, March 15, 2008:  p.9.

74.

Updates:  August 2008

Bus Subsidy for Trams?

A confidential report has been leaked to the Evening News, revealing that one way being considered to provide the additional £55m needed to build line 1b from Roseburn to Granton is subsidy from Lothian Buses.

Senior councillors have opposed this idea, and Lothian Buses chief executive, Neil Renilson, has said "I can categorically confirm that [we have] no plans to increase bus fares to generate funds for the construction of the tram."

An Edinburgh council spokesman has confirmed that selling the council's shareholding in Lothian Buses is not an option, but has refused to rule out a "fare levy" to help to meet the cost of the trams project.

Edinburgh Evening News, August 25, 2008:  pp.1,5

UPDATE:  The Evening News announced on March 20, 2009, that from 2011 onwards, Lothian Buses (which would then become part of Transport Edinburgh  Ltd) would have to hand over £5m pa to offset losses on the tram line in its first few years of operation.

75.

Updates:  September 2008

Leith Walk

The first tram tracks are due to be laid in Leith Walk in January 2009.  The pavements are to be made narrower, to give a wider road with tram tracks running up the middle of the road.

TIE said: "We hope this phase of the project will be better received by people because they will actually see something being built."

This follows months of problems for businesses in Leith Walk and Constitution Street, who have seen falls in trade as a result of the tram works and have been compensated with up to £4,000 each and a 20% reduction in rateable values for most shops.  Around two-thirds of TIE's £2m allocated to paying compensation has already been handed out.

Edinburgh Evening News, September 18, 2008:  p.7.
Edinburgh Evening News, September 19, 2008:  p.12.

UPDATE 1:  

Princes Street - Leith Walk

The first length of track is now expected to be laid in Princes Street in April, rather than in Leith Walk in January.  A TIE spokesman said that its resources had been allocated to other parts of the route following a negotiated works embargo on Leith Walk over the festive period.

TIE insisted that their work was still on schedule and that they intended to have a full tram service running by July 2011.

Evening News:  January 210, 2009

UPDATE 2:  

Leith Walk - Autumn 2009

Phil Wheeler announced, in early March 2009, that tracks would not now be laid in Leith Walk until early-Autumn, 2009.

Evening News:  when?

76.

Updates:  October 2008

Princes Street - closed

Traffic in the centre of Edinburgh ground to a halt for up to an hour on the first day that Princes Street was closed to traffic between Hanover Street and Frederick Street..

Following crisis talks between the council,  Lothian Buses and TIE, buses are to be allowed back onto Princes Street westbound and possibly also eastbound from today, until a working solution can be found.

Edinburgh Evening News, October 2, 2008:  p.4.

UPDATE:

Another attempt will be made, with effect from Sunday October 5, to close the section of Princes Street between Hanover Street and Frederick Street.  Traffic light sequences have been changed and it is hoped that traffic will flow more smoothly this time.

77.

Updates:  October 2008

Trams to Gorebridge?

TIE have proposed that the northern section of the proposed Borders Rail link should be operated by trams rather than trains.

Edinburgh Evening News, October 2, 2008:  p.4.

78.

Updates:  November 2008

Tram Boss departs

Willie Gallagher, who was appointed executive chairman of TIE in June 2006, has announced that he will be leaving TIE for family reasons.

This announcement comes after recent problems with road diversions in the centre of Edinburgh, and some slippage of the tram timetable, particularly for the tram depot at Gogar.  However, TIE say that the problems can be resolved within the current budget.

This follows the announcement, last month, that Neil Renilson, chief executive of Lothian Buses and Transport Edinburgh Ltd, the company that will operate both trams and buses in Edinburgh, is to retire early at the start of 2009.

Edinburgh Evening News, November 13, 2008:  p.1.
Edinburgh Evening News, November 14, 2008:  pp.4,5.
.

 

79.

Updates:  November 2008

Line to Granton - not to go ahead?

Edinburgh council insists that no final decision has yet been made on whether or not Line 1b from Roseburn to Granton is to go ahead.   But sources close to the project believe that there will not be sufficient cash available to fund it.

The pace of developments at Granton and on the Waterfront has slowed down as a result of the economic climate, so it would not be surprising if it was decided not to proceed with Line 1b at present.  This line could be built later, but a better business case might be made for building Line 3 to which would run to the SE to the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

TIE had anticipated receiving £25m towards the trams from developers with projects close to the line but, to date, only £3m has been received.

Edinburgh Evening News, November 13, 2008:  p.1.
Edinburgh Evening News, November 14, 2008:  pp.4,5.
.

UPDATE 1:

Possibly Over-Budget

The project has an overall funding pot of £545m (including £96m which is regarded as a contingency reserve).  The total cost of the project is now estimated to be £512m, but in addition contractors are demanding a further £50m to 80m before they start work on Princes Street.  TIE are refusing to pay this additional amount.

£500m of the £545m total has been provided by Transport Scotland.  Edinburgh Council had hoped to raise the balance through developers' contributions and land sales.

Evening News:  February 20, 2009

UPDATE 2:

Granton Line Shelved

Edinburgh Council announced today that the Roseburn to Granton line had been officially shelved, following the property market downturn. Council leader, Jenny Dawe, said "We will revisit this as soon as the economic situation improves." but it is not expected that the line will be resurrected within the next few years.

Evening News:  April 24, 2009

80.

Updates:  December 2008

Princes Street  and Mound - closed

Princes Street may be closed to traffic for eight months in 2009 - from February to November, with a break for the Festival in August, to allow the track to be laid.

The Mound is due to close again from January 17, 2009, to allow utility work to be carried out before the tram lines are laid in Princes Street in March 2009.

Edinburgh Evening News, December 11, 2008:  p.5.

 

81.

Updates:  February 2009

Contractors demand £50m to £80m

Just as traffic diversions are being implemented to take traffic off Princes Street, to allow tram work to proceed, the tram project consortium BSG has demanded an additional £50 to £80m before they begin work on Princes Street.  TIE have refused to pay, so the Princes Street work will not begin on schedule.

However, it is now too late to cancel this week's diversions, so they will go ahead, while TIE and the contractors continue to negotiate terms.

The BSC consortium comprises the firms:

-   Bilfinger Berger

-  Siemens

-  CAF.

If the dispute cannot be resolved, transport chiefs are considering finding a replacement for the German firm, Bilfinger Berger, but if parts of the project need to be put out to tender again, it is feared that this could put back the whole project by up to a year.

Edinburgh Evening News, February 20, 2009:  pp.4, 5.
Edinburgh Evening News, February 21, 2009:  p.4.

UPDATE 1:

It was reported on February 25, 2009, that officials had demanded immediate action from Bilfinger Berger, and had threatened to sue the company if it failed to comply.

UPDATE 2:

There have been some calls for the whole tram project to be abandoned, in the light of the current dispute, but this is not thought to be a viable option.

To date£215m has been spent on the project.  If the whole project were to be abandoned at this stage, it is believed that a further £100m of costs would be incurred.

UPDATE 3:

On March 6, 2009, The Evening News reported that in view of the still unresolved problems in Princes Street, it might be necessary to delay the opening of the tram line to the east of Haymarket and begin with a line that ran between the Airport and Haymarket.

UPDATE 4:

On March 13, 2009, it was announced that if the dispute with Bilfinger Berger was not resolved within the next six days, arbiters would be called in.

UPDATE 5:

There have been some calls for the whole tram project to be abandoned, in the light of the current dispute, but this is not thought to be a viable option.

To date£215m has been spent on the project.  If the whole project were to be abandoned at this stage, it is believed that a further £100m of costs would be incurred.

UPDATE 6:

The amount demanded by Bilfinger Berger was subsequently reported to be about £20m - considerably less than the £50m to £80m originally reported.

The dispute with Bilfinger Berger has been resolved in a last-minute deal negotiated on March 20, 2009.   Work on the project in Princes Street can now resume. 

However, Bilfinger Berger claims that there are still around 100 other issues to be resolved, and that these are likely to push up costs.

 

82.

 Updates:  February 2009

Model Tram

A full size model tram has been set up outside Jenners in Princes Street.  It will be staffed and open to visitors for the next seven weeks, daily from 11am to 4pm.

Edinburgh Evening News, February 23, 2009:  p.2.

UPDATE:  

By March 12, 41,000 people had visited the model tram in  Princes Street. 

It was then moved to Constitution Street, Leith.  Now, it is standing outside the main entrance to Ocean Terminal at Leith Docks.

Evening News:  June 14, 2009

  

83.

 Updates:  February 2009

Critics' Comments

An article in the Evening News contrasted the official views, expressed by TIE and critics' comments.

TIE claims that the tram project is still on schedule and on budget.  Critics claim that it may end up to two years late and £250m over budget.

Critics say that:

-  a large water main under the site of the proposed tram depot at Gogar had not been spotted on the initial survey, and that there had been a delay of several months as TIE and Scottish Water work out how best to move it.

-  there have been delays in the utility work being carried out at Haymarket, particularly moving another water main.  Work is also behind schedule in building a viaduct to bring the trams up to street level at Haymarket.

-  utility work in Princes Street should have been completed in 2008, but is still ongoing.  Further delays may result if a turning table at the foot of Lothian Road, used by the previous tram system has to be dug up.

-   there has been a delay in laying the first track in Leith Walk.  It was due to be laid in January 2009, but the Leith Business Association does not expect to see it laid until June 2009, two years after the tram work in Leith Walk began.

Edinburgh Evening News, February 23, 2009:  p.2.

  

84.

 Updates:  March 2009

Dispute Resolved

The dispute with Bilfinger Berger has been resolved.

It is understood that only ten days' delay has resulted from the dispute, so it is now expected that the street can be re-opened for the duration of the summer and winter festivals.

Edinburgh Evening News, March 23, 2009:  p.2.

UPDATE:

It was announced on May 6, 2009, that Princes Street will, in fact, remain closed to  traffic during the Edinburgh Festival in August 2009.  This should enable the street to be opened again by early November, in time for Christmas and Hogmanay visitors.

Historic Scotland is looking at the possibility of Holyrood Park being used for the Festival Cavalcade in 2009.

 

85.

 Updates:  April 2009

TIE  -  New Chief Executive

Richard Jeffrey, a former managing director of Edinburgh Airport and the current president of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce , is to take up the post of chief executive of TIE next month.

Richard Jeffrey is currently working with international investment advisory business, Babcock and Brown

Edinburgh Evening News, April 2, 2009:  p.2.

 

 

86.

Updates:  April 2009

Princes Street - to be pedestrianised?

The transport diversions to cope with the temporary closure of Princes Street to all traffic have led the council to consider whether it might be a good idea to permanently ban:

-  all traffic except trams and cycles from Princes Street, or perhaps

-  all traffic from George Street.

Princes Street Traders' Association favours the pedestrianisation of Princes Street.  George Street Association favours the pedestrianisation of George Street.

 

Edinburgh Evening News, April 15, 2009:  p.8.

 

87.

Updates:  June 2009

Nine-Month Delay

The Evening News reports that work to create the new Gogar tram depot at Gogar, which is on the critical path for the tram project, is currently running 9 months behind schedule.

Problems include a huge water main that runs through the site and delays by Transport Scotland in reaching a final decision on plans for a new railway station at Gogar.

So, if nothing can be done to catch up, the Edinburgh trams are now not expected to start operating until Spring 2012, and are very unlikely to be delivered within their £545m budget.

Edinburgh Evening News, June 20, 2009:  p.1 and other pages

 

88.

 Updates:  June 2009

Princes Street unlikely to be Pedestrianised

In his first interview after taking over as the city's transport leader, Gordon Mackenzie announced that it would put too much pressure on George Street in the long term if buses and taxis were to continue to use George Street and Princes Street were to be pedestrianised.

He reported that there had also been concern amongst the traders in both George Street and Princes Street about the possible pedestrianisation of Princes Street.

Edinburgh Evening News, June 24, 2009:  p.7

 

89.

 Updates:  July 2009

Two Years behind Schedule

John Carson, former head of Miller Civil Engineering claims that work at Gogar depot is not 9 months behind schedule as TIE had claimed last month, but now 2 years behind schedule.

He believed that completion date for the tram project was likely to be "closer to 2014 than 2012" and that the total cost of the project could be closer to £1bn than £545m.

TIE responded, saying that John Carson had taken information out of context, and that it was expected that the delay to the project as a whole  would be only a matter of months.

Edinburgh Evening News, July 3, 2009:  p.6

 

90.

 Updates:  July 2009

Sherlock Holmes Statue Moved

The Sherlock Holmes statue has been removed from Picardy Place to allow a tram stop to be built there.  The statue will be put back nearby when the work is completed.

Contractors were surprised to find a stainless steel time capsule beneath the statue.  The statue was erected in 1991 by the Federation of Master Builders to mark their 50th year.   Members of the federation who know the contents of the time capsule have vowed not to reveal the details.

Edinburgh Evening News, July 8, 2009:  p.6

 

91.

 Updates:  July 2009

Railway Station at Gogar

Network Rail has submitted plans for a new station to be built at Gogar, at an expected cost of £34-37mtrain.  This would allow rail passengers to transfer to the trams for Edinburgh Airport.

Network Rail are to hold exhibitions and consultation of their proposed plans for Gogar.  The exhibitions will be at the Gyle Shopping Centre on July 29 and August 14.

Edinburgh Evening News, July 20, 2009:  p.13

 

92.

 Updates:  August 2009

Pedestrianisation Later

The result of a feasibility study into the possible pedestrianisation of Princes Street are awaited.

Marshall Poulton, the council's head of transport said that one of the options being looked at was the pedestrianisation of parts of George Street and Princes Street, but no such measures would be brought in until at least a year after the trams were up and running.

Edinburgh Evening News, August 12, 2009, p.13

 

93.

 Updates:  August 2009

Over Budget and Late

TIE admitted, for the firs time today, that the tram project may not com in within its £545m budget., and said that it might now be 2013 before trams start running.

The final cost is not known.  A senior council source said that there were around 400 outstanding disputes with contractor Bilfinger Berger.  One source estimated that the council might have to meet a shortfall of £90m.

Edinburgh Evening News, August 14, 2009, pp.10-11

 

94.

 Updates:  September 2009

Trams due to be delivered  -  to Croydon!

Edinburgh's first trams are due to be delivered in spring 2010, but the Gogar depot will not be ready to accept them, and there is likely to be no track to test them on, so TIE is currently discussing sending the trams, first, to the London borough of Croydon.

TIE chiefs added that they will be taking delivery of the 27 trams ordered for lines 1a and 1b, despite the second route being dropped.  "The extra vehicles will ensure more regular services", they said.

Edinburgh Evening News, September 8 2009, pp.1,5

 

95.

 Updates:  October  2009

Over £550m  -  but running in  2012?

Costs for the tram project now seem almost certain to exceed £550m.  TIE has estimated that the total cost will be £524.5m PLUS whatever whatever TIE has to pay out to the contractors that it is currently in dispute with..  However, the bill could soar as Bilfinger Berger are believed to be looking for a further £80-100m for the project.

However, Richard Jeffrey, TIE Chief Executive said that 2012 was "a realistic and achievable date for completion".

Edinburgh Evening News, October 1, 2009, p.5

 

96.

 Updates:  October  2009

Tunnel Unearthed

Tram workers have unearthed a section of  a disused underground tunnel constructed around 1821, under Princes Street near the foot of the Mound.

The tunnel. The Crawley Tunnel, used to carry a water supply from the Meadows to the foot of the Mound and possibly on to Scotland Street.

TIE have been working closely with John Lawson, curator for archaeology for the city.  They say that the discovery of the tunnel will not result in any adverse impact on their programme.

Edinburgh Evening News, October 17, 2009, p.6

 

97.

 Updates:  November  2009

New Appointments

It has been announced that:

-  Richard Jeffrey, Chief Executive of the tram firm TIE, is to be appointed Chief Executive of the company that is to be responsible for Edinburgh's trams and buses, Transport Edinburgh Ltd (TEL).  He will also join the Board of TEL.

(Lothian Buses and TIE are due to merge by 2012 to form TEL.)

-  TIE Board Member David Mackay will become a Board member of TEL, and on January 1, 2020, he will become the new Chairman of Lothian Buses.

-  Ian Craig, Managing Director of Lothian Buses is to join the Board  of TEL.

Edinburgh Evening News, November 27, 2009, p.5

 

98.

 Updates:  November  2009

Princes Street Opens to Traffic Again

After having been closed to traffic for nine months, and following recent hectic activity by contractors in Princes Street over the past few days, TIE handed back Princes Street to the city at 7.30a on  Sunday November 29, just two hours later than scheduled.

Tracks have now been laid from the south of Waverley Bridge to South Charlotte Street,.  Buses, taxis and cycles have now begun to use Princes Street again.

There will now be no more major tram works in the city until January 4, 2010 - when work will re-commence on Leith Walk.

Edinburgh Evening News, November 30, 2009, p.5

 

99.

 Updates:  November  2009

Cycling on Princes Street

There have been complaints that the removal of a cycle lane from Princes Street, together with the cobbles and tramlines to contend with, have resulted in dangers for cyclists.

One cyclist posted footage of his crash on You Tube, after pedalling along Princes Street with a camera mounted on his handle bars.

Edinburgh Evening News, November 30, 2009, p.5
 

 

100.

 Updates:  December  2009

Princes Street  -  Road Begins to Crumble

A report in the Edinburgh Evening News began:

"A patch-up job is set to take place on Princes Street after te road surface began breaking up within days of traffic returning following the tram works.

Workers are expected to return to the street over the next few nights after the road began crumbling next to the tram tracks at the junction with The Mound.

The section, which was the last to be completed ahead of the street's reopening on 29 November, was among the areas of work hampered by bad weather.

Tram firm TIE said it had failed to add sealant to some of the rails due to heavy rainfall, leaving critics to accuse the company of carrying out a 'rushed job'."

 Edinburgh Evening News, December 9, 2009, p 7

 

101.

 Updates:  December  2009

Tram Line 3

Tram Line 3 is now being discussed again.  This is the line from the East End of Princes Street, via Cameron Toll and the Royal Infirmary to Newcraighall.

This is one of the lines that was originally proposed, then shelved following the 'No' vote on the council's proposed congestion charges in 2005.

The council believe that this line would be important in attracting companies to become established in the new 'BioQuarter beside the Royal Infirmary at Little France.

This line does not yet have approval from the Scottish Government, and it is unlikely that any funding could become available before 2012.

 Edinburgh Evening News, December 10, 2009, pp. 8-9

 

102.

 Updates:  December  2009

Cycling on Princes Street

Complaints from cyclists about the re-opened Princes Street are continuing.  One cyclist wrote a letter to the Evening News, beginning:

 "Cycling east along Princes Street for the first time since work had finished, I soon realised how terrifying he new tram lines are.  All it would take is a momentary lapse of concentration and I'd have plunged into the gaping groove, wrecked my bike and found myself under the wheels of a bus."

 Edinburgh Evening News, December 17, 2009, p.16

 

103.

 Updates:  December  2009

Cycling on Princes Street

Danny Callaghan wrote:

"On Saturday I crossed over Princes Street which has now been open to buses & taxis for 3 weeks and noticed that the tarmac alongside the tram lines is breaking up already.   

So there will be more than just tram lines for our cyclist friends to contend with  -  great big pot holes.

I would suggest to our cycling friend they should not have any momentary lapses of concentration while cycling on any road, as cars, buses and lorries are very hard and are likely to damage more than their bike."

Danny Callaghan:  Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  December 21, 2009

Update

Others have also noticed that the road surface broke away from the tram lines, almost immediately after the tram lines were laid, especially near the foot of the Mound.

The contractors say this has happened because there was heavy rain in the days leading up to the re-opening of Princes Street, so the laid the new road surface without including the sealant between the surface and the rails.  They are going to go back and fix the problem.

Peter Stubbs:  December 21, 2009

 

 

104.

 Updates:  December  2009

Road Works  -  Shandwick Place

"It has been announced that Shandwick Place, a busy shopping street leading to the west from the West End of Princes Street, is to close on January 4, 2010 and is expected to remain closed until mid-2011.

Traders have expressed disappointment at the length of this closure. They had previously been told that the road would open again at the end of 2010."

There is also uncertainty as to whether or not the track-laying work will go ahead on schedule, as TIE is currently in dispute with its contractor over this part of the route.

During these road works, eastbound traffic will be diverted along Manor Place and Melville Street.  Buses heading west will use the Western Approach Road and Morrison Street."

Edinburgh Evening News:  December 22, 2009

 

105.

 Updates:  April 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Two-thirds of Cash Spent

Responding to a parliamentary question, Transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson, announced that more than £350m of the £545m available (£500m from Scottish Parliament and £45m from Edinburgh Council) has already been spent on the tram project

Tram Tax Shortfall

Developers have committed £12.5m towards the cost of the tramline, but to date only £4.5m has been received.

Edinburgh Council has, so far raised about £30m of the £45m it is to contribute to the project.  In order to reach this £30m total, it has had to borrow £21m.  It may need to borrow more against future income from the project.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  April 27, 2010, p.6

 

106.

 Updates:  May 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Gogar Interchange Approved

Edinburgh's full council has approved Network Rail's plans to build a £43m tram and rail interchange on the railway to the east of Gogar Roundabout.  This will provide the main rail link to Edinburgh Airport, with the final leg of the journey to the airport being by tram.

The project to create the interchange is expected to take 12 months, beginning in Autumn 2010.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  May 3, 2010, p.2

107.

 Updates:  May 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Tram Parked In Princes Street

Edinburgh's first tram has now been parked in Princes Street, near The Mound for about a month and has been visited by more than 30,000 people so far.

TIE are seeking permission to  keep the tram in place as long as visitor numbers remain high.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  May 31, 2010, p.10

NOTE: 

 It had, earlier, been reported that the £2m, 140 ft long tram had arrived in Edinburgh on schedule and would be put on display in Princes Street from 28 April 2010.  Alastair Richards, Managing Director of Edinburgh Trams has said: "I am now turning my team's focus towards bringing the rest of the fleet to Edinburgh in preparation for service in 2012."

Edinburgh Evening News:  April 26, 2010:  p.3

UPDATE:

Comments on the Tram

Not everybody was happy with this tram.  Here are extracts from a letter published in the  Evening News on July 1, 2010:

"Every time I pass that stationary, useless vehicle in the middle of Princes Street, my blood pressure rises to dizzy heights.  The havoc this proposed tram line has caused is beyond my ken.  ... Well, enough is enough.  I personally wish I had the power to put that empty hunk of tin to good use.  I would gather all the councillors responsible for the decision to bring back the trams, lock them all in and pelt them with over-ripe tomatoes."

Edinburgh Evening News:  July 1, 2010:  p.16

 

 

108.

 Updates:  June 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Possible 2 or 3 Year Delay

TIE's dispute with contractor, Bilfinger Berger, is likely to end in a court battle.  This could result in work on the project being stopped and the project being delayed by two or three years.

Costs

TIE have been criticised by Edinburgh Council for not disclosing the likely cost over-run. TIE claim that disclosing this could damage their position in contractual negotiations.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  June 7, 2010, pp1,4,5
Headline:  'TRAMS;  END OF THE LINE'

UPDATE:

Business Plan Update

TIE has been ordered to provide a report to the council by September 16, 2010, detailing all the options and costs, with an update on the Business Plan.

Edinburgh Evening News:  June 25, 2010, p.6

 

 

109.

 Updates:  June 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Only 18% of Infrastructure Work Completed

Richard Jeffrey, TIE Chief Executive, has admitted that only 18% of the infrastructure work for the tram project has been completed.  (The figure by now should have been 86%.)

Around £350m - around two-thirds of the total budget has already been spent.

Call for a Referendum

The SNP plans to call for a referendum on scrapping the tram project if the current dispute with the contractors cannot be completed within the next few weeks.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  June 9, pp.1,5
Headline:  'TRAMS CRISIS'

110

 Updates:  June 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Impact on Lothian Buses

Discussions are understood to have taken place about the possible selling and leasing back Lothian Buses' four depots and some of its vehicles to provide £50-70m for the trams.

However, a spokesman for TIE insisted that there had been no discussions concerning the future of Lothian Buses, and the city's transport convener has said that such a move would be a 'non-starter'.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  June 17, p.6

UPDATE 1:

Subsidy Needed

TIE are expected to tell Edinburgh Council that heavy subsidy will be needed, potentially by Lothian Buses, to meet any shortfall in the £600m cost of building the line from Edinburgh Airport to Haymarket.

Edinburgh Evening News:  October 4, 2006, p.7

UPDATE 2:  See also 124 and 125 below.

111

 Updates:  June 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Extra £55m Needed

A report on the tram project published today says that the council will plan for a 10% contingency for the £545m project, and that parts of the line may never be built.

Tram Route

A number of options are being considered, including stopping the line at one of:

-  Haymarket

-  York Place

-  Foot of Leith Walk or

- Ocean Terminal

-  Newhaven (the original planned terminus).

According to the tram chiefs, opening the line in its entirety still remains the preferred option.  They say that the line could still be up and running by 2012!  They hinted at signs of a breakthrough in negotiations with contractor Bilfinger Berger.

John Carson, a former head of maintenance at Network Rail says: 'TIE is i denial if it thinks the tram line can be delivered by 2012 for just an extra £55m.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  June 18, pp.,6,7
Headline:  'IT'S ALL A TRAM MESS'

UPDATE 1:

Haymarket by 2011

TIE believe that the tram line between the airport and Haymarket could be completed by 2011 !

Edinburgh Evening News:  June 19, pp.,1,9

UPDATE 2:

Four days later, The Evening News reported:

Airport to York Place

A rescue plan for Edinburgh's trams will stop the line in the city centre in order to bring the project in under budget.

A new deal being thrashed out by tram bosses and contractor Bilfinger Berger would deliver a scaled-back route from the airport to York Place by June 2012, at a cost of under £500 million.

Business leaders in Leith say it is a 'disgrace'.

Edinburgh Evening News:  June 23, pp.,1,5

 

112

 Updates:  June 2010

The Evening News reported that more than 1,700 people had taken part in its tram poll, and that the results were:

Tram Poll

47% said:  'Scrap the trams.'

39% said:  'Keep going.'

In response to the question:  'Did you support the idea of a tram system for Edinburgh before building work began?'

29% said :  'Yes.'

63% said:  'No.'

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  June 19, pp.,1,9: 
Headline:  'TRAMS SPLIT CITY'.

113

 Updates:  July 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Princes Street Repairs

Tram workers have returned to Princes Street to patch-up the street for the third time since it was re-opened to traffic last November.

The westbound lane has been closed to buses to allow the work to proceed.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  July 3, 2010:  p.9

UPDATE 1:

Other Repairs

The repairs and diversions above lasted for only a few days, but other utility work lasted for longer.  The Evening News reported that Broughton Street had already been closed for several months for utility work in connection with the trams, and that work had now commenced, working 24 hours a day, on utility diversions in York Place.

Edinburgh Evening News:  July 12, 2010:  p.6

 

UPDATE 2:

Gridlock

TIE have apologised apologised to travellers for the gridlock and tailbacks that occurred yesterday, with delays of up to 50 minutes for buses.  There were problems with traffic light sequencing when measures were taken to restore the traffic management measures in the West End to how they were before the tram works.  Similar problems occurred in October 2008 when The Mound was closed for tram works.

Edinburgh Evening News:  July 22, 2010:  p.4

 

UPDATE 3:  See also 141 below.

114

 Updates:  July 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Shandwick Place

It had been intended to close Shandwick Place to traffic for 18 months from early-2010 to allow the tram tracks to be laid.  However, because of the ongoing dispute with Bilfinger Berger, this work is not currently going ahead.

Once the trams start operating in Shandwick Place, it is proposed to close Shandwick Place to cars.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  July 22, 2010:  p.4

UPDATE 1:

Objections

Despite having received 400 objections to the plan to ban cars from Shandwick Place, Edinburgh Council has recommended going ahead with the ban.

Edinburgh Evening News:  September 6, 2010, p.9

UPDATE 2:

Approval

The Traffic Regulation Order, banning all vehicles except trams and buses (and cycles? and taxis?) from Shandwick Place has been approved, despite objections from residents nearby having concern over the likely increase in noise and air pollution in thier streets in the New Town.

Edinburgh Evening News:  November 24, 2010:  p.9

115

 Updates:  July 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Dispute with Contractors

City leaders expect a 'mature divorce' with Bilfinger Berger over the Edinburgh tram project.  Gordon Mackenzie, transport  leader reported: 'Overall, there are more positives than negatives - we've seen a substantial improvement in the approach taken by Bilfinger over the last six to eight weeks ..."

Bilfinger Berger is expected to provide a full breakdown of costs and timescales for a way forward by the end of this week.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  July 22, 2010:  p.4

116

 Updates:  August 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Gogar Tram Depot

After being plagued by a series of delays, Gogar Tram Depot is expected to be finished before the end of 2010.  TIE hopes to offer guided tours of the depot.

Bilfinger Berger is expected to provide a full breakdown of costs and timescales for a way forward by the end of this week.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  August 6, 2010:  p.9

UPDATE 1:

Tram Storage

Gogar depot is still not ready to accommodate the tram that stood for several months in Princes Street, so it is to be taken for storage to an industrial estate in Broxburn, West Lothian.

Edinburgh Evening News:  November 24, 2010:  p.8

UPDATE 2:

Out in the Cold

The Evening News has printed photos of Edinburgh's first tram, saying that it was "out in the cold" and had been tracked down "found lying in bits and covered in snow at East Mains Industrial Estate, Broxburn".

TIE responded, saying:

"The tram vehicle is checked regularly.  It was designed to be stored, as well as operate at low temperatures."

Edinburgh Evening News:  December 24, 2010:  pp. 1,7

117

 Updates:  August 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Staff Costs

TIE Chief Executive, Richard Jeffrey (former Edinburgh Airport boss) reported that in order to reflect the current status of the project, he has imposed a pay freeze for TIE's 76 employees for the current financial year, and is paying no bonuses to employees.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  August 17, 2010:  p.8

118

 Updates:  August 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Princes Street Tram

The tram may be temporarily moved from its position in Princes Street, near the foot of The Mound, to enable people to get a better view of Pope Benedict XVI as he is driven along Princes Street in his Popemobile on September 16, 2010.

I was amused by the headline that the Evening News used for this article:

"In the Name of God,  Move your Tram"

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  August 25, 2010:  pp.1, 6, 7

119

 Updates:  September 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Tram Route

The long-awaited report on the future of the tram project is not now expected until October 2010.  However, there now appear to be only two options:

1.  Trams will run from the airport to York Place

Under this option, the line would be provided by Bilfinger Berger as far as York Place, then TIE would advertise for another contractor to continue the line from York Place to Newhaven.

      OR

2.   'Tear up the contract with Bilfinger Berger'.

This would be likely to end in a lengthy court battle and further delays.

Sources close to the contractor say they believe that TIE is struggling to find the cash to build the tram line from the airport as far as Haymarket.  However, TIE has ruled out opening a shorter section of the route, such as the airport to Haymarket, as that would not be financially viable.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  September 4, 2010, pp.1,5
Evening News Headline:  'YORK PLACE OR BUST!''.

UPDATE:

Business Case

A new version of the business case for trams had been expected to be discussed by the council on the day of the Pope's visit to Edinburgh, September 18, 2010.  However, the discussion has now been put back due to the ongoing dispute with Bilfinger Berger.

The Evening News understands that the current preferred option would be "to see the tram line run from the airport to York Place under plans for a 'mature divorce' with Bilfinger Berger".

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  August 25, 2010:  pp.1, 6, 7

 

120

 Updates:  September 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Trams from March 2013

In March 2010, TIE Chief Executive denied claims by contractor Bilfinger Berger that the project could be as late as January 2014 and insisted that June 2012 was an achievable deadline.

The TIE website still predicts 2012, but a document released under a 'Freedom of Information' request shows TIE admitting to Transport Scotland that their program currently predicts that it will be early-March 2013 before trams are open for business.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  September 7, 2010, p.6

NOTE:

When the tram scheme was first announced in 2003, it had a proposed completion date of 2008, and cost of £375m.

Edinburgh Evening News: October 4, 2010, p.6.

121

 Updates:  September 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Project Impasse

The dispute with Bilfinger Berger now seems likely to be heading for the courts.  There is believed to be a gap of over £100m between the sum that TIE are willing to pay and the amount demanded by Bilfinger Berger.

It is understood that Bilfinger Berger estimate that it will cost £700m to complete the line from the airport to York Place.

A report on the future of the project was expected in September 2010, but delayed until October 2010.  Council leader, Jenny Dawe has not ruled out further delays, admitting that negotiations were taking longer than expected.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:  September 11, 2010, p.5

122

 Updates:  September 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported on September 25, 2010:

Princes Street

Fractures have been found under the road surface, following the laying of the tram tracks in Princes Street, so the street may have to be dug up again.

Three days later, Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Despite being dissatisfied with the quality of the work  done by the contractor in Princes Street, TIE had ruled out digging up the street again.  City transport leader, Gordon Mackenzie also insisted that there were no plans to dig up Princes Street again - BUT see 141 below

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:
September 25, 2010, p.6 + September 28, 2010

123

 Updates:  October 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Bilfinger Berger Lays Off Staff

Bilfinger Berger wrote to 36 workers yesterday, telling them that they would no longer be needed to carry out 'goodwill works''. Bilfinger Berger claim that TIE has withheld payment for the work for several months, but TIE say they are continuing to pay the contractor 'as per contract'.

Those who have lost their jobs say that the redundancies affect about 75% of those employed directly by Bilfinger Berger to work on the tram project.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: October 1, 2010, pp.1,5

UPDATE:

Relationships between TIE and Bilfinger Berger seem to have worsened in recent weeks.  One source estimates that  Bilfinger Berger are owed between £10m and £15m for work already carried out.  Workers are no longer working on the A8 underpass at Gogar, and it is understood that TIE has issued Bilfinger Berger with nine 'remedial termination' or breach of contract notices in recent weeks.

Edinburgh Evening News: October 4, 2010, p.6.

124

 Updates:  October 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Business Case

A new business case is due to be discussed by councillors next week.  It claims that a tram line from the airport to St Andrew Square would be viable from day 1**.  But the Evening News report adds: 

"However, that business case  relies on the Capital's bus service shouldering most of the burden for three or four years when present operator, Lothian Buses, is amalgamated into the new bus and tram operator Transport Edinburgh Limited (TEL).

The bus to trams subsidy is thought to run to several million pounds a year."

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: October 8, 2010, p.4

**  NOTE

It sound odd to describe this as 'viability from year 1'.  To me, it looks more like 'viable from year 3 or 4.'

UPDATE 1:

A new campaign group called  'Save Lothian Buses - Stop the Merger' has now been set up.

Edinburgh Evening News: October 9, 2010

UPDATE 2:

TIE have confirmed their intention to press ahead with the merger with Lothian Buses, despite suggestions that Lothian Buses should be left to run the tram line.

Edinburgh Evening News: November 17, 2010, p.4

125

 Updates:  October 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Lothian Buses

Further opposition has been expressed to the proposals that Edinburgh's buses should subsidise the trams.

Neil Renilson, former Chief Executive of Lothian Buses,  says:

"Sacrificing Lothian Buses city-wide network of high quality bus services  in order to raise yet more money to spend on the tram scheme would be an act of complete folly."

Pilmar Smith, former Chief Executive of Lothian Buses,  says:

"We have the best bus service in the UK outside London and I'm outraged that anyone could contemplate breaking that up to subsidise the tram.  I shudder to think what might happen to Lothian Buses if this goes ahead.

Steve Cardownie, Deputy Council Leader, says:

"It concerns me that this tram service, when eventually it gets up and running, could be an albatross around Lothian Buses' neck with fares possibly going up and less profitable routes not running."

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: October 12, 2010, p.5

126

 Updates:  October 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Tram Route to Foot of Leith Walk

At a full council meeting was agreed to provide more detailed information on the refreshed business case to councillors, but not to members of the public.

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Gordon MacKenzie, transport leader, said he would like to see trams go beyond St Andrew Square as soon as possible, and he  believed that it would be possible to continue the line to the foot of Leith Walk within four years, without needing any extra money.  (How would he achieve that?)

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: October 15, 2010, p.4

127

 Updates:  November 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

TIE Chairman Resigns

David Mackay, Chairman of TIE and Lothian Buses, who was to become the Chairman of the new merged company Transport Edinburgh Limited has resigned, siting 'personal reasons' for his decision. 

He  had described the tram project as "Hell on Wheels".  Today, he commented on the contractor for the tram project, Bilfinger Berger, saying:

"Bilfinger Berger was a delinquent contractor who scented a victim, who probably greatly underbid and  who would use the contract to make life extremely difficult for the city.  And they have done exactly that."

City transport convener, Gordon Mackenzie said :

"Despite public perception, we have a really strong team in place.  David has been a very loyal and good chairman and he has left the project in a better place than he found it."

David Mackay's resignation has prompted further calls for a re-think on whether or not Edinburgh's trams and Lothian Buses should be merged into a single company. 

The city's transport leader, Gordon Mackenzie defended the case for the planned merger, but said there was a strong case for separate chairmen being appointed for TIE and Lothian Buses in the future.

Steve Cardownie, deputy council leader believes that David Mackay's departure should lead to a pause in the planned merger.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:
November 3, 2010, pp. 1,5 + November 4, 2010, p.6

UPDATE 1:

Brian Cox, who previously worked for Stagecoach and currently sits on the Board of TIE, is to be appointed  as TIE/TEL Chairman on an interim basis until a permanent appointment can be made.

Edinburgh Evening News: November 13, 2010, p.4

 

UPDATE 2:

Vic Emery, former Managing Director of various BAE Systems companies is to be recommended to take up the position as Chairman of TIE and Transport Edinburgh Ltd (TEL).

Edinburgh Evening News: January 29, 2011, p.2

 

UPDATE 2:

Vick Emery's appointments as Chairman of TIE and Transport Edinburgh Ltd (TEL) were  officially confirmed at a council meeting yesterday.

Edinburgh Evening News: February 4, 2011, p.11

128

 Updates:  November 2010

Poem

Ron Butlin, Edinburgh Poet-Laureate (Makar) wrote a poem to articulate some of the frustration felt about the trams by Edinburgh's residents.

The poem is written in Scots dialect, from the perspective of the tram on display in Princes Street.

The poem begins:

Our Tram's Plea tae the Councillors o' Edinburgh

"I'm scunnered wi' gaitherin' stour an' decay,

Wi' blockin' up Princes Street, wastin' away

- gang naewhere, daein' nowt, nae staps an' nae route

whiles wunnering whit bein' a tram's aa aboot.

Sae dinna scoot past while I list ma travails,

- it's no' me, I'm thinkin' that's ganged aff the rails!"

The poem ends:

"Oor city's been patient, but its patience is done.

It's fed up o' the mess and there's mair mess tae come

... an I'm fed up tae.  I maun stairt on ma route

afore the last track is lifted an' I'm cancelled oot!"

Edinburgh Evening News: November 12, 2010, p.3

129

 Updates:  November 2010

Cartoon

Five days after the poem above appeared in the paper, the Evening news published a cartoon by it's cartoonist, Fred Boyle.

Picking up on some recent incidents where stones and other items have been thrown at buses in Edinburgh, he drew a tram with people throwing money at it from a sack marked "Taxpayers' Money"

The destination on the front of the tram was "NAEWHERE" !

Edinburgh Evening News: November 17, 2010, p.17

130

 Updates:  November 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Mediation

Councillors and TIE bosses have agreed that the time has come enter a formal mediation with Bilfinger Berger.  It is hoped that a mediator can be appointed quickly.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: November 19, 2010, p.9

UPDATE 1:

The commencement of peace talks has been delayed due to failure to agree on a mediator.  Last month, former Holyrood inquiry counsel, John Campbell QC offered his services, but it is understood that TIE are not keen to appoint anyone from Scotland to the role amid concerns about their suitability.

Edinburgh Evening News: December 18, 2010

UPDATE 2:

An American mediator has been appointed.  There are hopes that the talks can be completed within three days (once they begin!) but the mediator will not be able to take up his role for another two months.

Critics have accused TIE of attempting to delay any progress until after the May 2011 Scottish Parliament elections in the hope that a new government would provide more cash for the project.

Edinburgh Evening News: January 14, 2011, p.2

 

UPDATE 3:

TIE and the BSC Consortium, of which Bilfinger Berger is a part, have put out a joint statement saying:

"We are pleased to report that the first stage of the mediation preparatory work is already underway and the next steps agreed.  Both parties are working diligently to ensure that mediation takes place as soon as is practical.  It is envisaged that mediation will be complete by mid-March 2011. ..."

Edinburgh Evening News: January 17, 2011, p11

 

131

 Updates:  December 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

The Future of TIE

Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, transport committee has admitted that one of the options being considered was the winding up of TIE, with the responsibility for operating the tram line passing to Lothian Buses.

He said:

"The assumptions that were made when we set up TEL was that we would have tram lines 1, 2 and 3, EARL (Edinburgh Airport Rail Link) and the park and ride sites.

Clearly, a lot of that has changed and we need to review what the role is for TEL and Lothian Buses going forward.

It's been apparent to me for some months that the arguments originally there for TEL are no longer there and Transdev is no longer part of the picture either."

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: December 9, 2010, p.7

132

 Updates:  December 2010

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Business Case

TIE has said in its latest business case that it hopes to deliver the line from Edinburgh Airport as far as St Andrew Square for £545m (the amount originally earmarked for the entire line) by the end of 2012.  This was predicted by the Evening News but denied by TIE in June 2010.

TIE still remains committed to building the full route from the airport to Newhaven, but this will not operate initially.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: December 11, pp.6,7

UPDATE:

Will the Trams be Profitable?

Originally, the tram project was expected to make a return of £1.77 for every £1 spent.  TIE's business case estimates that even allowing for:

-   a 25% increase in cost (i.e.  line built all the way to Newhaven for a cost of £680m) and

-   less passengers, due to the slowdown in developments at Leith, Newhaven and Granton

the project would still make a return of £1.10 for every £1 spent.

However, John Carson, a former head of maintenance at Network Rail and a long-standing  critic of the trams says that the figures have been "heavily massaged".  He says:

"TIE should wake up and smell the roses.  The cost has doubled. If this is applied to their heavily-massaged ratio, the figure is well below one, with the corresponding conclusion that the project should be abandoned."

Edinburgh Evening News: December 14, 2010, p.8

NOTE:

I have found that many of the Evening News reports on trams follow a similar pattern,  with one or more of these elements:

1.  An optimistic comment on future plans made by TIE.

2.  Comments in support of TIE, by Gordon Mackenzie, the city's transport convener.

3.  Criticism of TIE's plans, from Deputy council leader, SNP councillor, Steve Cardownie.

4.  Criticism of TIE's plans, from John Carson, former head of maintenance at Network Rail.

I was interested to see that the Evening News used to describe John  Carson as 'outspoken critic of the trams' but the paper has now started to describe him as 'long-standing critic of the trams.

In my experience, John Carson's comments and forecasts seem to have usually turned out to be more accurate than those of TIE.

Peter Stubbs:  June 10, 2011

 

133

 Updates:  January 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Gogar Tram Depot

TIE says that it hopes the Gogar Tram Depot will be completed by April 2011.  (A previous estimate made by TIE in August 2011 was that the depot would be completed by the end of 2010.)

Speaking of the depot, Alastair Richards, Managing Director of TIE, said: 

"We're probably there or thereabouts to have the tram delivered now, but we'll probably leave it until February or March.  We hope that our initial piece of test track will be operational from April if there's a positive outcome to the mediation."

TIE say there is  the possibility that the public could be taken on board, on the test track, at a later date as part of a PR exercise.

TIE has been storing its first tram in Broxburn since November 2010.  More trams have been built and some are being stored in Spain.  TIE hope that with the finished vehicles being

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: January 4, 2011, pp.1,6,7
Evening News Headline:  "GOOD NEWS - FIRST TRAM SET TO RUN IN SUMMER
                                      BAD NEWS:  IT WILL GO HALF A MILE."

UPDATE 1:

Tram Depot still not Completed

I was invited by TIE to go on a guided tour of the tram depot on May 10, 2011.  The TIE staff were helpful and keen to show the depot to us, but unfortunately, construction work was still ongoing so we were not able to gain access to the depot!  There were not yet any trams being stored at the depot, and the test track had not yet been built.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh  May 10, 2011

UPDATE 2:

Tram Deliveries - Autumn 2011

Vic Emery, TIE Chairman says:

"Gogar depot is due to be completed later this year and trams delivered to the site in the Autumn."

Edinburgh Evening News: May 12, 2011: p.4

134

 Updates:  January 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

TIE HR Director Leaves

Claire Malecki, who has been HR Manager  at TIE since 2007 is set to leave the project "for personal reasons" next week, after working her notice.

A TIE spokesman said that a straw poll at the office suggested that morale was, in fact, good.

However the Evening News quoted a former senior employee who had left the project within the past year.  He said:

"Morale has suffered as the project lurches from one crisis to another.  There's a lot of unhappy people there  -  about 90% of the organisation are trying to get out."

The Evening News went on to list senior staff who have left TIE within the past year:

Graeme Bissett:   Former Kwik Fit Director, Advisor to TIE Board.

Stewart McGarrity:   Former Finance and Performance Director.

David MacKay:  Chairman.

Bob Bell:   A Construction Manager

Mark Hamill:  A Risk Manager

Graeme Barclay:   Construction Director

Caire Malecki:   HR Manager

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: January 21, 2011, p.7
 

135

 Updates:  January 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Princes Street Costs

BSC are claiming 12.3m for work carried out on Princes Street, and have launched legal action to recover the balance of £3m that they claim is due to them by TIE.

Work to lay the Princes Street tracks had originally been due to cost £2m, but in 2010 TIE admitted that the cost had risen to £8m and hinted that it could go higher.

This dispute is set to go to an adjudicator.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News:
 January 21, 2011, p.7 and January 25, p.1
 

136

 Updates:  February 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Audit Scotland Report

A report from the public spending watchdog, Audit Scotland, has called for ministers to consider whether Transport Scotland (who have provided £500m towards Edinburgh's tram project on behalf of the Scottish Government) should be more actively involved in avoiding further possible delays and cost over-runs on the project.

So far £402m of the £5450m available from the Scottish Government and Edinburgh Corporation has been spent, but only 28% of the work has been completed.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: February 3, 2011, pp.6,7

 

UPDATE:

Following the publication of Audit Scotland's report (above) the new council chief executive is to discuss with councillors a proposal to give Transport Scotland a place on the TIE Board.  However, a spokesman for Transport Scotland said that this is not the right time to discuss substantial changes to the governance of the project.

Evening News:  February 4, 2011,p.11

137

 Updates:  February 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Trams to be Leased?

TIE has a contract for 27 trams at £2m each, but is unlikely to need them all initially, so some may be leased to other cities (including Croydon) to raise cash.

The prospect of leasing trams to Croydon was first raised by TIE in late-2009, but at that time TIE insisted that any such move would just be an opportunity for the trams to be tested.

How Many Trams will be Needed?

The 27 trams were ordered for:

-  Route 1a from  the airport to  Newhaven

-  Route 1b from Haymarket to Granton.

However, it is now proposed that the only route to operate initially will be:

-  Route 1a from  the airport to  St Andrew Square

John Carson, a former head of maintenance at Network Rail, and a long-standing critic of the trams,  believes that  only 8 trams will be needed to operate this route.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: February 16, 2011, p.11

138

 Updates:  February 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Tram Line 3

A report has been commissioned from consultants Steer Davies Gleave, by Edinburgh Council in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh University, NHS Lothian and TIE.

This report predicts that building Tram Line 3, now re-named South Edinburgh Tram Line (SETL), would bring significant economic benefits to the area and would help to bring forward further development of Edinburgh's BioQuarter.

However, now does not appear to be the best time to promote a new tram line, as TIE focuses is currently focusing all its attention on resolving the dispute with the contractor delivering Tram Line 1

SNP Lothians MSP, Shirley-Ann Somerville said:

"It is vital that people get some answers on how much the first line is going to cost and when we will see a tam running.

Tram Line 3 has a much better business case than line one, but nobody is going to take it seriously until we know what's happening with the project."

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: February 18, 2011, p.6

139

 Updates:  February 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Only 38% Budget Remains

According to the final Business Case for the trams, published in 2007, today is the day that trams were to start running.  claim that 72% of the work is still to be done.  Just  38% of the budget is  left.

Donald McGougan, the council's finance director said that  he had not ruled out approaching Transport Scotland or the Scottish for more money, despite Finance Secretary John Swinney's repeated insistence that the tram project would receive "not a penny more" of public funding.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: February 25, 2011, pp.1,8,9
Evening News Headline:  "TIME'S UP"

UPDATE 1:

£440 million Spent

A new report on the outcome of the mediation talks shows that around £440 million has now been spent on the tram project.

Only yesterday, the council said that the total amount spent was £411.5 million.

Evening News:  March 26, 2011, p.8

140

 Updates:  March 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Airport Ticket Office

The Evening News includes an artist's illustration of the proposed ticket office and tram stop at Edinburgh Airport.

Heritage Group, The Cockburn Association, say that the plans are hardly adequate as a welcoming experience for overseas visitors, and criticised the decision not to make the tram stop fully enclosed, meaning that passengers could be soaked by horizontal rain on windy days.

However, council planning officials have recommended that the proposals are given the go-ahead.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: March 7, 2011, p.5

141

 Updates:  March 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Princes Street

Contractors returned to Princes Street last week end to repair the crumbling road surface, and they will be back again this weekend.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: March 10, 2011, p.4

UPDATE 1:

Princes Street to Close Again

July 11 to May 12

TIE have announced that Princes Street is to be closed from July 2011 to May 2012 to allow repairs to be carried out, following problems with the installation of tram tracks in 2009.  The cost of this repair work will be met by Bilfinger Berger.  A full diversion of buses, taxis and cycles will be required.

The road surface has deteriorated so badly that the work will have to be carried out whether or not the trams are to reach St Andrew Square.  Bilfinger Berger claim that Edinburgh had presented unique problems.  The weather and number of buses using the street had caused the tarmac to crack.  They now propose to surface the street with black concrete instead of Tarmac.

Tripoli Comment

Vic Emery, TIE Chairman, enraged critics when, in a Press Conference,  he said "We need to clean up Edinburgh and stop it looking like Tripoli at the moment."  **

Deputy council leader, Steve Cardownie said  "I nearly fell off my chair when he made that statement  .I'm an opponent of the tram project but this city does not look like Tripoli."

** Vic Emery  subsequently withdrew his remark.  See Update 2 below.

Chief Executive

The Press asked why Richard Jeffrey, TIE Chief Executive, had not been present at the Press Briefing that made the announcement above.

Vick Emery, Chairman replied: "He is back in the office, doing some work for me."

Evening News:  May 12, 2011, p.4

 

UPDATE 2:

Tripoli Comment

In a letter to the Evening News, Richard Jeffrey, TIE Chief Executive, apologised for the remark he made yesterday, comparing Edinburgh to the Libyan Capital, Tripoli.

He wrote:

"I categorically with draw this remark and realise that I may have caused offence without intending to do so.

My remark was made with reference to the frustration that I have felt witnessing work sites where, at times, holes in the ground have been left for months with no work taking place.  I accept this was an inappropriate statement."

Evening News, May 13, 2011

 

142

 Updates:  March 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Mediation

The first few days of mediation talks, led by an unnamed American mediator at Mar Hall Hotel near Glasgow,  ended yesterday with a joint statement:

"City of Edinburgh Council, TIE and the consortium members , together with Transport Scotland have had a very constructive engagement and have established a mutual understanding of the key issues that have been impeding the progress of the Edinburgh Tram project.

The parties to the contract are working together to firm up the framework for out future working arrangements and the successful delivery of the project.   There will be no further comment whilst this work is under way."

Unfortunately, this statement does not include a date for the next stage of the process.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: March 10, 2011, p.4

NOTE:

There has been less news of trams in the press in recent weeks, as work has slowed down on the project, and people await  the outcome of the mediation talks and the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections, to be held on May 5, 2011.

UPDATE 1:

2nd Round of Talks

A second round of mediation talks is expected in early April 2011

Evening News:  March 26, 2011, p.8

UPDATE 2:

Progress

Steve Cardownie, deputy council leader and leader of the anti-tram SNP group on the council has expressed optimism over the recent mediation, saying he believed that a deal could now be reached which would see a tram line built between Edinburgh Airport and St Andrew Square.  He understands that:

"Things were carried out in a businesslike and friendly fashion without the antagonism that's dogged other discussions".

However, it seems unlikely that any deal will be reached prior to the Scottish elections on May 5.

Evening News:  March 26, 2011, p.8

 

UPDATE 3:

Mediator

The name of the mediator at the talks at Mar Hall Hotel outside Glasgow has now been revealed under Freedom of Information laws.  He is Michael Shane, who has previously been involved in transport disputes in Hong Kong and California.

Evening News:  March 26, 2011, p.8

 

UPDATE 4:

Costs

Following the recent mediation, tram bosses have spent at least £30m on a new deal that will see:

-  Bilfinger Berger and Siemens return to work focusing on priority locations,  Princes Street, Haymarket Yards, the tram depot and the A8 underpass

-   Edinburgh Council tale ownership of overhead power lines, track and equipment from Siemens.

Chief Executive

TIE again denied rumours that Richard Jeffrey, chief executive, could be set to leave the project, a move which would save more than £140,000 a year in his salary.   But see 144 below.

Evening News:  May 13, 2011, p.9

 

143

 Updates:  April 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Airport to Haymarket

"Sources close to the project have told the Evening News that tram bosses are looking at leasing up to 20 trams, leaving only enough to run a service between the airport and Haymarket.

Today, Gordon Mackenzie, the city's transport convener said that taking the trams as far as St Andrew Square had absolutely not been ruled out, but admitted that ending the route at Haymarket was being given active consideration."

This news has resulted in fresh calls for the whole project to be scrapped.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: April 29, 2011, pp.1,2
Evening News Headline:  "LAST STOP HAYMARKET"

UPDATE 1:

Toytown

The reaction of the Evening News to possibly ending the line at Haymarket is summed up in the headline on its Editorial page:

 "A Toytown train for tourists?  No thanks."

Evening News:  April 30, 2011, p.12

 

UPDATE 2:

Not Enough Money Left?

The Evening News now understands that, with over 75% of the tram budget already spent, there may now not even be enough money to build a tram line from the airport to Haymarket.

Evening News:  May 12, 2011, p.4

 

144

 Updates:  May 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

TIE Chief Executive Resigns

Staff are due to be told today that Richard Jeffrey, TIE chief executive is to leave the company next month, near the time of the key meeting at which councillors are expected to decide whether to abandon the tram project or keep going if additional funding can be secured.

This news has resulted in fresh calls for the whole project to be scrapped.  There is no intention to bring in another chief executive at the moment.

Chairman Vic Emery thanked Richard Jeffrey for his determination, integrity and resilience;  but the news of Richard Jeffrey's departure comes following rumours of disagreement between the two men due to their different approaches to the mediation process, Richard Jeffrey having taken the stronger line.

The details above are based on an article in Edinburgh Evening News: May 19, 2011, pp.1,2
 

UPDATE 1:

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

TIE Chief Executive's Resignation

Gordon Mackenzie, city transport convener, commented on the resignation announcement made yesterday by Richard Jeffrey, after two years in office as TIE chief executive.

Arbitrations

Richard Jeffrey had fought a series of costly and time-consuming battles with contractor, Bilfinger Berger, but had lost almost every one of the adjudications.

He had had a misplaced belief in the strength of the agreement with the contractors.  The agreement was clearly "fundamentally flawed and not fit for purpose".

Who is Left in Charge

The Evening News listed four people who were now left in charge at TIE:

1.  Vic Emery, chairman.

2.  Steven Bell, project director.

3.  Susan Clark, deputy project director.

4.  Mandy Haeburn-Little, customer services and communications director.    But see Update 2 below

Evening News:  May 20, 2011, p.2.
Headline:  "FLAWED DEAL MEANT THAT TIE BOSS WAS ON A HIDING TO NOTHING"

 

UPDATE 2:

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Another Departure

Mandy Haeburn-Little

It was announced yesterday that Mandy Haeburn-Little, TIE director of communications and customer services, is to step down.

She will remain in her post until the end of July "in order to provide continued support in the run up to the recommencement of work in Princes Street, and to help oversee the project's ongoing review of the governance."

The announcement of Mandy Haeburn-Little's departure comes just four days after four non-executive directors left the project, and gives further support to claims that the entire tram project is steadily being moved under the direct control of the council.

Edinburgh Evening News:  May 20, 2011, p.2.

 

145

 Updates:  June 2011

The Scotsman  reported:

Cost of Cancellation

Tram bosses have been urged to provide more details of the cost of cancelling the project.

There are concerns that these costs could be high as a result of a clause in the Capital's Tram Act requiring the city to be returned to the way it was prior to construction, if the project is cancelled.

Steve Cardownie, deputy council leader said:

"People are using the Tram Act as some form of justification to say it would cost more to cancel than to take it to St Andrew Square.

We need clarity on that.  The time for conjecture has gone."

During a full council meeting yesterday, Jenny Dawe, city leader said the council would need to seek an amendment to the Act."

Steve Cardownie, deputy council leader said:

"My understanding is that the city has to be restored to the state it was  before, but I don't think anybody would be wanting to see that implemented to the letter of the law.

I don't think those costs should be part of the cancellation.  If it's not necessary to take something away, then we shouldn't be carrying out work to do that."

The Scotsman:  June 1, 2011, p.9

146

 Updates:  June 2011

The Scotsman  reported:

Four Directors Quit

Four TIE directors are expected to leave the company shortly after the departure, next week, of TIE chief executive, Richard Jeffrey.  They are:

Brian Cox, a former executive of Stagecoach who became TIE interim chairman following the departure of David Mackay in 2010.

- Peter Strachan, former chief executive of TranLink Transit Authority in Australia, and director of Network Rail.

- Neil Scales, chief executive of Merseytravel and chairman of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

- Kenneth Hogg, who has worked in the fields of transport, finance, education and public health at th Scottish Government.

It is expected that TIE's involvement in the project will reduce, with the number of TIE staff perhaps reducing from 65 to fewer than 20, with more responsibility being taken for the project directly by Edinburgh council.    See also 148 below

The Scotsman:  June 1, 2011, p.9

147

 Updates:  June 2011

Edinburgh Evening News reported:

Council Meeting

June 30, 2011

The future of the tram project is to be discussed at an Edinburgh council meeting on June 30, 2011. 

-  The total tram budget at present stands at £545m, but there are fears that it will cost £700m just to build the line from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrew Square.

-  There has been speculation that the cost of cancelling the entire project may be higher than the cost of completing the line to St Andrew Square, but no official figures have been announced.

-  Sources close to the project say that the project may be 'mothballed' in the hope that it can be revived when the city's economy and its property market improves.

It may be some time before the full results of the council meeting to be held on June 30, are know.  A TIE spokesman said:

"We've already said publicly that governance is one of the issues being addressed as part of the paper being presented on 30 June. 

Any matters relating to the board will be discussed a the next tram project board meeting and we will not be commenting further until after this point."

Edinburgh Evening News:  June 3, 2011, p.2.

UPDATE:

The Evening news is not optimistic about the amount of detail that is likely to be included in the report to be discussed at the council meeting on June 30.

The paper wrote.

Report to Edinburgh Council.

A long-awaited report on the future of the trams is expected later this month, which is due to detail the costs of cancelling the project and of continuing to St Andrew Square.

However, the Evening News understands that the report could be 'far from definitive' and that many of the costings may not be ready in time.

Edinburgh Evening News:  June 10, 2011, p.5.

 

148

 Updates:  June 2011

The Evening News  reported:

Half of TIE Staff to Leave

TIE now has 65 to 70 staff, but the a city council cost cutting drive will result in the number being reduced to around 30.  A voluntary redundancy scheme has been launched within TIE.

Edinburgh Evening News:  June 10, 2011, pp.1,5.

 

July 2011 to April 2014

Missing Updates on EdinPhoto Web Site

I've continued to read press reports of progress towards the launch of Edinburgh's new trams.  I've cut out and kept these press reports in the hope of summarising them for the EdinPhoto web site one day  - if I ever catch up with my backlog of other work for the site!

Progress towards the launch of the trams seems to have gone better over the past year.  In September 2013 a planned launch date of 'May 2014' was announced.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  May 5, 2014

Testing the Trams

There have already been extensive trials of the trams, one in March 2014 involving up to 1,000 volunteers to test how the trams might cope with crowds at Murrayfield Stadium.

Testing Edinburgh's new trams  -  Exercise Salvador  -  13 March 2014 ©

 

Over the past couple of months, empty trams have become a common site in the Edinburgh streets as driver training has got underway.  I believe that the trams have been operating according to timetables and stopping at all the stations but not opening their doors!

©

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  May 5, 2014

 

149

 Updates:  May 2014

The Evening News  reported:

Launch Date Announced

May 31, 2014

Trams made headline news in the Evening News on 2 May 2014 when the paper announced that trams are to take their first fare paying passengers on May 31, 2014.

The first service will depart from the Gyle for York Place at 5am on May 31.  There will be no fanfare or ribbon-cutting as it was felt that would be inappropriate following the tram's overblown budget and missed deadlines in earlier years.

During May, Roadshows will be held at stations on the line, showing the public how to use the trams, buy and validate their tickets.

The Tram Service

Eight trams, each carrying 250 passengers, will operate the service with a seven-and-a-half minute frequency at peak times, Monday to Friday.  The fare for most journeys will be £1.50 or 70p for children, with an on-the-spot fine of £10 for anybody caught fare dodging.

The Council predicts a profit of £3.7m over the first 15 years

Edinburgh Evening News:  May 2, 2011, pp.1,4,5  +  May 3, 2014, p.9

Comments

Profits

If profit continues at the rate of £3.7m every 15 years, the £776mn expenditure should be recouped by the year 5551  -  or a few thousand years later allowing for inflation!

The Date

I was amused to read a comment from Eric Gold, a regular contributor to the EdinPhoto web site.  Eric grew up in Dumbiedykes, Edinburgh,  He now lives in East End, London, but retains his interest in Edinburgh.

On hearing that the tram launch date, Eric wrote:

Trams

"They say they'll be launching the trams on 31 May.

The Titanic was launched on 31 May 1910 in Belfast!

(ha ha ha ha)"

Eric Gold:  East London, May 4, 2014

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh, May 6, 2014

 

 

  

 

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EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks