by Luke Rajczuk
Edinburgh tram project is in a very troubling financial situation according to the spokesman of Tie, the company responsible for the works.
It is now £200 million over budget spent on the futuristic modernization of Edinburgh with the ‘rocket-like’ trams. The local MSPs express their fury about the loss of control over spending where the final cost of Edinburgh’s tram project could reach £750m – £250m more than originally planned by the date of completion in 2012.
Tie is of a different opinion however. They claim spending goes within the budget and that the city’s MSPs strongly exaggerate the figures and use the media to conduct discussions instead of asking direct questions to the Council and Tie themselves. The project managing company claim the programme is making good progress and is on track to be clear of Princes Street at the end of November as planned.
The project’s cost was originally estimated at £498m. Jenny Dawe, Edinburgh City Council leader, said: “The funding situation and projected delivery date for trams running on the street has not changed since being reported to the council last month.
“The dispute resolution process is currently underway and both the council and Tie are committed to ensuring that we come in as close to budget as possible.
The MSPs also suggest there might be a significant delay in meeting the deadline and finishing the project by 2012 speculating it may even take until 2015 to complete all works.
Mandy Haeburn-Little, Tie spokeswoman, said: “Categorically there is nothing to suggest that the programme will extend beyond 2012 as had been stated publicly.
“The programme is making good progress and is on track to be clear of Princes Street at the end of November as planned.”
It all looks like a dispute between the Edinburgh political scene and the actual company producing the project. Taking both sides into account should one be worried?