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Local Transport Developments

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The management of the trams scheme has been a shambles and, considering how long the City Council, Scottish Parliament and Transport Initiative Edinburgh Ltd have been working on the construction of the tram network, it’s shocking that no more progress has been made.

How can two of Scotland’s biggest transport projects have such different outcomes? The construction on the proposed tram project began two years ago, closing down Princes Street and restricting access to one of the busiest areas in the city. While I can understand that keeping building sites clear is a necessary precaution, what I cannot comprehend is the fact that such lengths have been taken and there is nothing to see as a result.

Think about how many people have been working on this project and consider that every time construction plans are scheduled, there are vast areas of the city centre that are sectioned off, traffic is subject to diversions and pedestrian access is restricted.

Every time roads are closed, businesses have to consider potential losses because their customers can simply not reach them. In our own delivery work in Scotland, which includes hundreds of jobs in Edinburgh and the Lothians every week, we have to examine and change our routes in order to be as efficient as possible.

To make matters worse, ten of Edinburgh’s unused tram vehicles could be leased to Transport for London to be used on the Croydon Tram Network. Apparently they won’t be needed in Edinburgh for several years. This news inspires such confidence.

The latest update has announced that the planned tram works for July have been moved to September. In that case, I’m off to scout out routes far away from the planned tram network.

So, while the M74 completion achievement is certainly something to celebrate, I would urge the powers in charge of the tram project to take a leaf out of the motorway scheme’s book and sort this shambles out once and for all.

In addition, I have a few suggestions for the millions of pounds which have been saved in the M74 scheme – to help the hundreds and thousands of businesses that would benefit from investment in Scotland’s roads.

It would only be right for the Scottish Government to re-invest the money that has been saved and use it to repair many of Scotland’s main roads which are in dire need of maintenance. Every day we take our vehicles onto these routes, and we have to consider the potential for wear and tear from uneven road surfaces and pot-holes.

The benefits would be immeasurable and we hope that at least something right is done to help businesses like ourselves to save money.


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