Leader: Radical trams plan not completely off track

THE idea of bringing in a private contractor to build a part of the Edinburgh tram scheme, which the city's council has admitted it will be unable to fund, demonstrates that councillors are prepared to consider radical options to complete the ill-fated programme.

A private firm building the section from St Andrew Square to Newhaven would at least ensure that the areas of the capital which the authority promised would benefit from the trams will not have had to endure all the construction pain but with no commercial or transport gain.

However, there are a number of problems which arise from the idea, including the fact the private firm would be competing with the council-owned Lothian Buses, potentially reducing the revenue that accrued from the new transport system, which includes trams. There are also questions about whether tickets from one tram would be valid on another.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Building the remaining track would not be such a problem along Leith Walk as most of the work in moving utilities has been done, but the remainder of the route would almost certainly have the same problems as the historic city centre. The idea should not be dismissed, but much more information is needed before taking such a radical step.

Related topics: