Edinburgh Tram Inquiry: Is it time for an inquiry into why it's been going on for so long? – Scotsman comment

More than seven years after it was announced and three years since it stopped hearing evidence, the £12.5 million-and-counting inquiry into Edinburgh tram fiasco just keeps rolling along.

Work on the Edinburgh tram line near Haymarket in 2011 (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Work on the Edinburgh tram line near Haymarket in 2011 (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Given it was set up to consider why the new tram link between the airport and city centre had “incurred delays” and “cost more than originally budgeted”, perhaps we should be calling for an inquiry into the tram inquiry to find out how it is possible that deliberations could have taken quite so long.

The absurdity of an ‘inquiry inquiry’ is only slightly greater than the current situation. So much for Alex Salmond’s promise back in 2014 when he was First Minister that the inquiry would be “swift”.

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The third aspect of its remit was to establish how the scheme “delivered significantly less than projected”. We can only hope that this same criticism will not be levelled at the inquiry’s report when it is finally ready.

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Nicola Sturgeon: It would be ‘deeply inappropriate’ to intervene in Edinburgh tr...

Those who have not completely given up waiting to see what it will say have been playing a game to while away the time, coming up with various different events that the inquiry has now lasted longer than.

The Iraq Inquiry was one, the actual time taken to construct the tram lines another. Then there is the Treaty of Westphalia, the Congress of Vienna, and the combined length of the First and Second World Wars – if you are American. The list goes on.

So while we’d agree it would be “deeply inappropriate” for Nicola Sturgeon to intervene, perhaps The Scotsman might be permitted to offer the following suggestion: get a blooming move on!

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