by Stewart Lochhead, Edinburgh
David Calder over at the Caledonian Mercury tells us that Edinburgh City Council claims Edinburgh Trams are to be profitable from day one.
“…that only works if trams and buses work closely together so it sets out the next steps towards the creation of a publicly-owned integrated transport system. The objective is to integrate Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams into a single company.”
How do buses subsidise trams?…. Remove popular convenient bus routes especially the 22 then only the tram will get you there. As a pensioner, the removal of the 22 bus which passes my door, will be a major inconvenience. The nearest tram stop will be three bus stops away.
The trams will cause major bus jams on Princes Street, thereby reduce the quality of service and passenger numbers as a result; reduced profits plundered to subsidise trams. The once award-winning bus service sacrificed for a vanity project.
The time has come for an independant inquiry into the fiasco.
1. Who benefited financially from the original project commissioning? Forth Ports shareholders perhaps?
2. Which official/s anticipated praise/promotion by supporting this crazy scheme? Professor David Begg maybe?
3. Why was a privately funded tram project(costing zero to the taxpayer) rejected by the council prior to the current scheme?
4. How was the opposition able to force the new government to waste £500 million against Scottish Government policy?
5. Which MSPs actively supported that un-democratic action?
6. Why wasn’t a proper Metro/light rail system(as in Newcastle) using abandoned railway lines funded?