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Edinburgh Trams Farce Continues

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Optimus Prime

Don't want to get into a full blow debate here but i'll state the following:

 

The trams will run to the airport.

 

The trams will be cost effective once operational.

 

There will be a demand for more once the initial network is up and running.

 

Time will prove me correct on all three.

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Coco

Don't want to get into a full blow debate here but i'll state the following:

 

The trams will run to the airport.

 

The trams will be cost effective once operational.

 

There will be a demand for more once the initial network is up and running.

 

Time will prove me correct on all three.

 

http://www.hmfckickb...te/#entry890229

 

http://www.hmfckickb...te/#entry890392

 

Business case still looking good?

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Rudy T

 

Don't want to get into a full blow debate here but i'll state the following:

 

The trams will run to the airport.

 

The trams will be cost effective once operational.

 

There will be a demand for more once the initial network is up and running.

 

Time will prove me correct on all three.

 

They will possibly pay for themselves operationally - But what about the millions spent building the bloody thing? Not to mention the detrimental effective its had on our tourist industry (have you read some of the comments on travel sites - the city gets panned left right and centre for being a building site)

 

And if they don't you can bet they'll start dicking around with the buses to try and force people onto the tram - which it won't, it'll just force some of the bus commuters to start taking cars again, because its highly unlikely the tram will actually stop anywhere near their destination.

 

 

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Paolo

 

 

See the link from earlier in the thread. It looks like within about 100 yards of the front door?

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20325141

 

That was closer than I thought, but we already have a bus service every four minutes that goes within five yards of the front door.

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Paolo

Don't want to get into a full blow debate here but i'll state the following:

 

The trams will run to the airport.

 

The trams will be cost effective once operational.

 

There will be a demand for more once the initial network is up and running.

 

Time will prove me correct on all three.

 

I do not think you will be. If you are though, I hope they will give back the profits to all the local businesses and shops who have lost a fortune or closed as a result.

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Paolo

Debate aside, has it been confirmed if concesionnary bus passes and the LRT bus passes will be accepted on the trams? With the airport bus, concesionnary passes are and the LRT pass gives you a discount.

 

If they don't then that is potentially a lot of lot custom straight away. Even if some do the custom who stick to the bus were not paying anyway, if they do not use it, it would be another example of it not being needed.

Edited by Simon Says

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dobmisterdobster

 

 

They will possibly pay for themselves operationally - But what about the millions spent building the bloody thing? Not to mention the detrimental effective its had on our tourist industry (have you read some of the comments on travel sites - the city gets panned left right and centre for being a building site)

 

And if they don't you can bet they'll start dicking around with the buses to try and force people onto the tram - which it won't, it'll just force some of the bus commuters to start taking cars again, because its highly unlikely the tram will actually stop anywhere near their destination.

 

The Channel Tunnel will NEVER recoup the construction costs but is invaluable to the people who use it to this day.

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N User

The Channel Tunnel will NEVER recoup the construction costs but is invaluable to the people who use it to this day.

 

The channel tunnel goes from one country to another bypassing an entire ******* sea!

 

The tram will go from the airport to town which numerous buses already did perfectly fine for less.

 

Comparing the two is not a good idea.

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Coco

There was/is nothing wrong with the business case. It was signing poor contracts full of loopholes that were massively exploited by the contractor that led to the delay and costs spiralling out of control.

 

The business case was garbage as I said at the time. It is still being massively downgraded even now with passenger number forecasts halved.

 

It was a piece of disgusting spin using money grasping consultants to provide a figleaf of professional 'legitimacy' for an utterly flawed concept.

 

And have you not noticed that even the Council is not forecasting that the tram half line will be 'cost effective' any more?

http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/transport/edinburgh-trams-will-need-taxpayer-subsidy-1-2776642

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Optimus Prime
The business case was garbage as I said at the time. It is still being massively downgraded even now with passenger number forecasts halved.It was a piece of disgusting spin using money grasping consultants to provide a figleaf of professional 'legitimacy' for an utterly flawed concept.And have you not noticed that even the Council is not forecasting that the tram half line will be 'cost effective' any more?http://www.scotsman....bsidy-1-2776642

 

The business case is a fluid document, it's not set in stone, revisions to reflect changing circumstances are common place and part and parcel of such a process.

 

You consistently get your wires crossed between the concept and the financial aspects of the project. Yes the financial side of things have been a mess there is no getting away from that. .Firstly you have to put this in the context of the political situation at the time where a Labour led scheme was put in limbo by the election of a minority SNP government who were opposed to it (they were in favour of using the money to upgrade A9 the to Inverness!). This led to a serious amount of behind the scenes bargaining between all the political parties causing a great deal of delay and cost. The upshot being the tram went ahead in exchange for Labour support on other SNP polices.

 

The crucial error in this whole process however is with the contractual situation the council got themselves into with the lead contractor. The blame for the bulk of the costs lies with the council?s legal department who were incredibly naive in terms of the contracts they signed. They're far less experienced legal team were basically turned over by a multinational company who could call in some top lawyers (and they did) from around the world. The contractor sensed this weakness and exploited it by laying out a contract full of loopholes and time penalties which the council didn't spot. There is a huge question mark over the morality of this from the contractors point of view but you are dealing with a firm who are in it to make money, that's the reality of the situation. From this you had a situation where the council were getting billed left, right and centre for additional costs etc which led to the long stand off between the council and the contractor which saw a downing of tools and legal action. This further leads to increased costs and other knock on costs in terms of traffic management/utility issues etc. I'm in no way trying to defend this, I'm just laying out some of the facts and issues the Evening News (i'll get to them in a minute) wouldn't have raised in their ultra negative coverage.

 

The concept however is a different story and a form of rapid transit through our city is something that is desperately needed. The bus service is running at capacity, a look at Princes St during rush hour clearly shows this. The tram is not there to replace the bus service but to act like a backbone to compliment the service. The route will act as a release valve for some of the congestion hot spots on the west side of the city i.e Gorgie and Corstorphine. There are also numerous environmental advantages which I won't bore you with from having a fully operational tram service easing the burden on the bus service.

 

One of the common arguments put forward by those against the project is that the route will only serve a small percentage of the cities population. This is true but can you give me another viable single route that will serve more people while providing a link from the city centre to the airport? The fact is Rome wasn't built in a day and you need to start somewhere. The current route provides the best exposure, linking the airport, Edinburgh Park, Murrayfield Stadium, Haymarket Station, Waverley Station and the central business district. In time maybe more routes will follow, (I personally think once this route is implemented there will in time be a demand for more from the Edinburgh people) hopefully lessons will have been learnt from previous financial mistakes.

 

Another error from the council/government has been the way they have sold the project to the people of the city. Their PR team has been nonexistent and allowed publications like the Edinburgh Evening News a free run at damming the project. There has been no (or very little) attempt by council/government to explain to the people why this is required?, why are we going through these huge disruptions? what is the purpose and the future vision? The EEN certainly won't be doing this, they are an absolute disgrace in terms of their role as the local publication for this city While there is a lot to point the finger at there has never been an attempt to look at the question posed above. The EEN has a long standing anti council agenda and they're primary interest is using the tram project to make life uncomfortable for the council. They will grasp every opportunity to create a negative story about the trams while a more balanced look at the project would be a more responsible attitude for a publication of its status.

 

In summary big transport infrastructure projects cost money and a lot of it. Ok this one has cost more than it should've done but the idea that it should turn some kind of profit in the long run is frankly ridiculous. Somebody has raised the Channel Tunnel as an example, i'll give you another one. There is currently a huge transport construction programme going on in London at the moment. It's called Crossrail and it's costing ?16bn. There is no hope that this will ever recoup its costs however there is a general understanding that this project is required to move the city?s transport infrastructure forward. This is across the board between the major political parties but crucially the people get it, they see the need in it being built. It?s causing massive disruption across the centre of the city but the public generally support it as they see the long term benefits. Why does London have a tube network? Why didn't they just rely on a decent bus service? Why does just about every major city have a form of rapid transit? Edinburgh needs to look at the long term benefits, appreciate that the city is a moving beast and constantly evolving and plans need to be put in place for the future growth and fluidity of the city. The trams will happen, they will be of benefit and the majority of the general public will see this in time.

Edited by Optimus Prime

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topcat

Will you still need to get a bus to the tram at the airport or have they seen how ludicrous that is?

 

I think that was an urban myth.

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Dave de le Noir

The business case is a fluid document, it's not set in stone, revisions to reflect changing circumstances are common place and part and parcel of such a process.

 

You consistently get your wires crossed between the concept and the financial aspects of the project. Yes the financial side of things have been a mess there is no getting away from that. .Firstly you have to put this in the context of the political situation at the time where a Labour led scheme was put in limbo by the election of a minority SNP government who were opposed to it (they were in favour of using the money to upgrade A9 the to Inverness!). This led to a serious amount of behind the scenes bargaining between all the political parties causing a great deal of delay and cost. The upshot being the tram went ahead in exchange for Labour support on other SNP polices.

 

The crucial error in this whole process however is with the contractual situation the council got themselves into with the lead contractor. The blame for the bulk of the costs lies with the council?s legal department who were incredibly naive in terms of the contracts they signed. They're far less experienced legal team were basically turned over by a multinational company who could call in some top lawyers (and they did) from around the world. The contractor sensed this weakness and exploited it by laying out a contract full of loopholes and time penalties which the council didn't spot. There is a huge question mark over the morality of this from the contractors point of view but you are dealing with a firm who are in it to make money, that's the reality of the situation. From this you had a situation where the council were getting billed left, right and centre for additional costs etc which led to the long stand off between the council and the contractor which saw a downing of tools and legal action. This further leads to increased costs and other knock on costs in terms of traffic management/utility issues etc. I'm in no way trying to defend this, I'm just laying out some of the facts and issues the Evening News (i'll get to them in a minute) wouldn't have raised in their ultra negative coverage.

 

The concept however is a different story and a form of rapid transit through our city is something that is desperately needed. The bus service is running at capacity, a look at Princes St during rush hour clearly shows this. The tram is not there to replace the bus service but to act like a backbone to compliment the service. The route will act as a release valve for some of the congestion hot spots on the west side of the city i.e Gorgie and Corstorphine. There are also numerous environmental advantages which I won't bore you with from having a fully operational tram service easing the burden on the bus service.

 

One of the common arguments put forward by those against the project is that the route will only serve a small percentage of the cities population. This is true but can you give me another viable single route that will serve more people while providing a link from the city centre to the airport? The fact is Rome wasn't built in a day and you need to start somewhere. The current route provides the best exposure, linking the airport, Edinburgh Park, Murrayfield Stadium, Haymarket Station, Waverley Station and the central business district. In time maybe more routes will follow, (I personally think once this route is implemented there will in time be a demand for more from the Edinburgh people) hopefully lessons will have been learnt from previous financial mistakes.

 

Another error from the council/government has been the way they have sold the project to the people of the city. Their PR team has been nonexistent and allowed publications like the Edinburgh Evening News a free run at damming the project. There has been no (or very little) attempt by council/government to explain to the people why this is required?, why are we going through these huge disruptions? what is the purpose and the future vision? The EEN certainly won't be doing this, they are an absolute disgrace in terms of their role as the local publication for this city While there is a lot to point the finger at there has never been an attempt to look at the question posed above. The EEN has a long standing anti council agenda and they're primary interest is using the tram project to make life uncomfortable for the council. They will grasp every opportunity to create a negative story about the trams while a more balanced look at the project would be a more responsible attitude for a publication of its status.

 

In summary big transport infrastructure projects cost money and a lot of it. Ok this one has cost more than it should've done but the idea that it should turn some kind of profit in the long run is frankly ridiculous. Somebody has raised the Channel Tunnel as an example, i'll give you another one. There is currently a huge transport construction programme going on in London at the moment. It's called Crossrail and it's costing ?16bn. There is no hope that this will ever recoup its costs however there is a general understanding that this project is required to move the city?s transport infrastructure forward. This is across the board between the major political parties but crucially the people get it, they see the need in it being built. It?s causing massive disruption across the centre of the city but the public generally support it as they see the long term benefits. Why does London have a tube network? Why didn't they just rely on a decent bus service? Why does just about every major city have a form of rapid transit? Edinburgh needs to look at the long term benefits, appreciate that the city is a moving beast and constantly evolving and plans need to be put in place for the future growth and fluidity of the city. The trams will happen, they will be of benefit and the majority of the general public will see this in time.

 

The local council should never be given this kind of power again.

 

I've got nothing against necessary infrastructure investments, though in the case of Edinburgh I'm not exactly convinced that the system was straining (every time I've been back the roads have been relatively clear, even in rush hour).

 

But letting middle-management level numpties and failed lawyers sign-off on this kind of deal. Utterly laughable.

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N User

 

One of the common arguments put forward by those against the project is that the route will only serve a small percentage of the cities population. This is true but can you give me another viable single route that will serve more people while providing a link from the city centre to the airport? The fact is Rome wasn't built in a day and you need to start somewhere. The current route provides the best exposure, linking the airport, Edinburgh Park, Murrayfield Stadium, Haymarket Station, Waverley Station and the central business district. In time maybe more routes will follow, (I personally think once this route is implemented there will in time be a demand for more from the Edinburgh people) hopefully lessons will have been learnt from previous financial mistakes.

 

 

Would it not have been more appropriate to to say... extend the 22 route to the airport?

 

I have a concern also with regards to the route..

The current route you state of Edinburgh Park, Murrayfield, Haymarket, Waverley.

Notice that it bypasses most of Dalry, Gorgie and most of Saughton which currently the 22 covers.

I reckon the regularity of the 22 route be reduced because of the Tram, yet the residents/workers of these areas will not benefit from the tram.

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Dunks

Excellent post Optimus :thumbsup:

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Optimus Prime

Would it not have been more appropriate to to say... extend the 22 route to the airport?

 

I have a concern also with regards to the route..

The current route you state of Edinburgh Park, Murrayfield, Haymarket, Waverley.

Notice that it bypasses most of Dalry, Gorgie and most of Saughton which currently the 22 covers.

I reckon the regularity of the 22 route be reduced because of the Tram, yet the residents/workers of these areas will not benefit from the tram.

 

The 22 is an excellent bus service, one of if not the best in the city. As i said in my earlier post the tram isn't there to replace bus services more to compliment them and give the transport system a backbone. I'd be very surprised if there are any changes to the 22 service as it's accessible to so many people.

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SUTOL

yet the residents/workers of these areas will not benefit from the tram.

 

They will benefit from reduced congestion due to less buses blocking the roads.

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FWJ

Top post Optimus.

My concern is that people have become so anti tram that even when it proves to be a great success people will still oppose extension.

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Optimus Prime

Top post Optimus.

My concern is that people have become so anti tram that even when it proves to be a great success people will still oppose extension.

 

Yep that is a serious concern. The scars of this process will take a long time/may never heal for some people. I do genuinely believe that once the thing is physically up and running public opinion will gradually change.

 

"Build it and people will come"

Edited by Optimus Prime

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frankblack

They will benefit from reduced congestion due to less buses blocking the roads.

 

Wrong. The traffic diverted from Princes Street and elsewhere on the tram routes will simply increase conjestion on already conjested roads leading to gridlock.

 

The people who will suffer are those in virtually every part of Edinburgh who need to commute into the city centre by bus or car. The trams are only going to duplicate part of the 22 route so virtually no buses will be removed.

 

Don't kid yourself on this is a service for tourists getting to and from the airport to make it look like our transport system is semi-modern rather than the reality of a half-arsed botched job.

Edited by frankblack

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Costanza

My worry with the trams has always been it's impact on the cost of bus use. Have the spiralling costs of the tram impacted and continue to impact bus fares?

Given that most commuters will use LRT buses rather than the trams, I see the trams as a negative if that's the case.

 

We already have one of, if not the best bus services in the UK and I'm not convinced at all that the trams are anything other than a negative impact on that.

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Chaps

MORE than 150 metres of concrete laid as part of the tram works will have to be ripped up following a sub-contractor blunder, the News can reveal.

 

The concrete between Haymarket and Shandwick Place will have to be redone, with estimates suggesting the work will take up to four weeks.

 

Despite this, tram bosses have insisted it will not delay the reopening of the thoroughfare or push back completion of the transport project.

 

It is understood the unnamed contractor will foot the bill for the blunder, which saw concrete set between the tram line and road surface laid ?proud? ? or high ? before being shaved down too shallow.

 

Today, fed-up retail chiefs said tram work along the route had been a ?shambles? and questioned whether it would be opened to traffic on the revised timetable.

 

Michael Apter, chair of the West End Traders Association, said it was ?disappointing? to hear there had been another construction error that needed more time to be patched up.

 

?It?s not the first time we have had issues with concrete being poured in the wrong place at the wrong depth at the wrong time,? he said.

 

?At a stakeholder meeting [with the council] in April they said the trams would be testing in August or September and we could anticipate seeing the road open to general traffic by July.?

 

The council said work along Haymarket and Shandwick Place was expected to be completed by the autumn.

 

Grant McKeeman, of Copymade in West Maitland Street, who claims disruption from the tram project has cost him ?2000 a week, said: ?The council has been giving themselves a pat on the back for getting the whole street right through to Shandwick Place open by the end of July.

 

?This just shows the gross incompetence of everyone involved. It?s just a shambles. This is such an important stretch into Princes Street. You just think ?can it get any worse??

 

?They have to be working 24 hours a day to get this sorted.?

 

It is understood three locations that failed quality assurance tests are at York Place around Elder Street, the curve at the east side of Shandwick Place at Lothian Road and the east end of Haymarket.

 

A council spokesman said: ?Infraco have advised us that they have found elements of work which have not met their quality assurance satisfaction. Details of a programme of work to remedy this are being put together and will be with the council shortly. These works will be at cost to the contractor and will not affect the completion date.

 

?This proactive approach from the contractor is helping to make sure that the tram is of the highest standard required by the council. We remain on course to hit the revised budget and timeframe.?

 

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Optimus Prime

Thanks Chapstick, you've just proved my point about the Edinburgh Evening News.

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bertracoon

In all seriousness, the tram project was dreamt up by fantasist ****wits, contracts were signed off by council ****wits who had their pants pulled down by the contractors due to them not knowing what the **** they were doing and are now using incompetent ****wit contractors to finish the job.

 

******* unbelievable.

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Coco

The business case is a fluid document, it's not set in stone, revisions to reflect changing circumstances are common place and part and parcel of such a process.

 

You consistently get your wires crossed between the concept and the financial aspects of the project. Yes the financial side of things have been a mess there is no getting away from that. .Firstly you have to put this in the context of the political situation at the time where a Labour led scheme was put in limbo by the election of a minority SNP government who were opposed to it (they were in favour of using the money to upgrade A9 the to Inverness!). This led to a serious amount of behind the scenes bargaining between all the political parties causing a great deal of delay and cost. The upshot being the tram went ahead in exchange for Labour support on other SNP polices.

 

The crucial error in this whole process however is with the contractual situation the council got themselves into with the lead contractor. The blame for the bulk of the costs lies with the council?s legal department who were incredibly naive in terms of the contracts they signed. They're far less experienced legal team were basically turned over by a multinational company who could call in some top lawyers (and they did) from around the world. The contractor sensed this weakness and exploited it by laying out a contract full of loopholes and time penalties which the council didn't spot. There is a huge question mark over the morality of this from the contractors point of view but you are dealing with a firm who are in it to make money, that's the reality of the situation. From this you had a situation where the council were getting billed left, right and centre for additional costs etc which led to the long stand off between the council and the contractor which saw a downing of tools and legal action. This further leads to increased costs and other knock on costs in terms of traffic management/utility issues etc. I'm in no way trying to defend this, I'm just laying out some of the facts and issues the Evening News (i'll get to them in a minute) wouldn't have raised in their ultra negative coverage.

 

The concept however is a different story and a form of rapid transit through our city is something that is desperately needed. The bus service is running at capacity, a look at Princes St during rush hour clearly shows this. The tram is not there to replace the bus service but to act like a backbone to compliment the service. The route will act as a release valve for some of the congestion hot spots on the west side of the city i.e Gorgie and Corstorphine. There are also numerous environmental advantages which I won't bore you with from having a fully operational tram service easing the burden on the bus service.

 

One of the common arguments put forward by those against the project is that the route will only serve a small percentage of the cities population. This is true but can you give me another viable single route that will serve more people while providing a link from the city centre to the airport? The fact is Rome wasn't built in a day and you need to start somewhere. The current route provides the best exposure, linking the airport, Edinburgh Park, Murrayfield Stadium, Haymarket Station, Waverley Station and the central business district. In time maybe more routes will follow, (I personally think once this route is implemented there will in time be a demand for more from the Edinburgh people) hopefully lessons will have been learnt from previous financial mistakes.

 

Another error from the council/government has been the way they have sold the project to the people of the city. Their PR team has been nonexistent and allowed publications like the Edinburgh Evening News a free run at damming the project. There has been no (or very little) attempt by council/government to explain to the people why this is required?, why are we going through these huge disruptions? what is the purpose and the future vision? The EEN certainly won't be doing this, they are an absolute disgrace in terms of their role as the local publication for this city While there is a lot to point the finger at there has never been an attempt to look at the question posed above. The EEN has a long standing anti council agenda and they're primary interest is using the tram project to make life uncomfortable for the council. They will grasp every opportunity to create a negative story about the trams while a more balanced look at the project would be a more responsible attitude for a publication of its status.

 

In summary big transport infrastructure projects cost money and a lot of it. Ok this one has cost more than it should've done but the idea that it should turn some kind of profit in the long run is frankly ridiculous. Somebody has raised the Channel Tunnel as an example, i'll give you another one. There is currently a huge transport construction programme going on in London at the moment. It's called Crossrail and it's costing ?16bn. There is no hope that this will ever recoup its costs however there is a general understanding that this project is required to move the city?s transport infrastructure forward. This is across the board between the major political parties but crucially the people get it, they see the need in it being built. It?s causing massive disruption across the centre of the city but the public generally support it as they see the long term benefits. Why does London have a tube network? Why didn't they just rely on a decent bus service? Why does just about every major city have a form of rapid transit? Edinburgh needs to look at the long term benefits, appreciate that the city is a moving beast and constantly evolving and plans need to be put in place for the future growth and fluidity of the city. The trams will happen, they will be of benefit and the majority of the general public will see this in time.

 

The concept and financial aspects are interrelated. The idiot politicians wanted a vanity project, thought there was 'free money' from the European Union/Scottish Government and were sold a pup by the grasping, gouging consultants and corporates. Then to provide 'legitimacy' they used more gouging, grasping consultants who told them what they wanted to hear with a business and environmental case which even then (as my posts on the other old thread pointed out) was absolute garbage. The point is that these were then used to shut down the debate - even at the last Council vote the idiotic decision to continue the project was based on yet another load of garbage business case that running the half line to St Andrew Square would make a profit (with passenger numbers actually increased from the initial garbage business cases despite the economic turmoil since then!). And only after the decision to waste another ?300m were the new projections that the half line will make huge operating losses released.

 

And at all times the scheme has been cheered on by useful idiots making claims about how it will reduce congestion, reduce traffic emissions, be environmentally friendly - when it fact it will make all of those things worse. Just yesterday the Council have decided yet another awful traffic scheme in the centre of Edinburgh - with Queen Street to be the only westbound route from the Grassmarket to the New Town! - and mostly to facilitate a train line on the streets. It was an awful concept, horrendous financial investment (even now and even after starting operating it will make financial sense to shut the half line), has caused enormous disruption through pathetic management during construction, will lead to Council services being cut, Council assets sold, bus routes discontinued or reduced, emissions rising, congestion rising, bus fares rising ... and yet useful idiots want more!

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FWJ

The concept and financial aspects are interrelated. The idiot politicians wanted a vanity project, thought there was 'free money' from the European Union/Scottish Government and were sold a pup by the grasping, gouging consultants and corporates. Then to provide 'legitimacy' they used more gouging, grasping consultants who told them what they wanted to hear with a business and environmental case which even then (as my posts on the other old thread pointed out) was absolute garbage. The point is that these were then used to shut down the debate - even at the last Council vote the idiotic decision to continue the project was based on yet another load of garbage business case that running the half line to St Andrew Square would make a profit (with passenger numbers actually increased from the initial garbage business cases despite the economic turmoil since then!). And only after the decision to waste another ?300m were the new projections that the half line will make huge operating losses released.

 

And at all times the scheme has been cheered on by useful idiots making claims about how it will reduce congestion, reduce traffic emissions, be environmentally friendly - when it fact it will make all of those things worse. Just yesterday the Council have decided yet another awful traffic scheme in the centre of Edinburgh - with Queen Street to be the only westbound route from the Grassmarket to the New Town! - and mostly to facilitate a train line on the streets. It was an awful concept, horrendous financial investment (even now and even after starting operating it will make financial sense to shut the half line), has caused enormous disruption through pathetic management during construction, will lead to Council services being cut, Council assets sold, bus routes discontinued or reduced, emissions rising, congestion rising, bus fares rising ... and yet useful idiots want more!

Makes you wonder why "train line on the streets' are being reintroduced throughout Britain and why cities that already have them are extending them by popular demand.

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davemclaren

No-one can argue that this is a financial disaster having been totally misimanaged. However, the concept of light rail in Edinburgh is still a good one imo.

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frankblack

Makes you wonder why "train line on the streets' are being reintroduced throughout Britain and why cities that already have them are extending them by popular demand.

 

Yes, but other cities didn't blow their budgets completely on half a route.

 

Also, you will find that Edinburgh is more built up than most of those other towns with streets that are far too narrow to cater for tram routes, many parts full of listed buildings, especially the closer you get into the centre. The fact that most of the city is built on top of volcanic rock makes it far harder to dig routes through that would need to go underground.

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frankblack

No-one can argue that this is a financial disaster having been totally misimanaged. However, the concept of light rail in Edinburgh is still a good one imo.

 

The money has been blown, and the scheme proposed is idiotic and should have been scrapped. Its too late now I'm afraid.

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harrykim

Yes, but other cities didn't blow their budgets completely on half a route.

 

Also, you will find that Edinburgh is more built up than most of those other towns with streets that are far too narrow to cater for tram routes, many parts full of listed buildings, especially the closer you get into the centre. The fact that most of the city is built on top of volcanic rock makes it far harder to dig routes through that would need to go underground.

 

Strange then that they ran all right until 1956.

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FWJ

Yes, but other cities didn't blow their budgets completely on half a route.

 

Also, you will find that Edinburgh is more built up than most of those other towns with streets that are far too narrow to cater for tram routes, many parts full of listed buildings, especially the closer you get into the centre. The fact that most of the city is built on top of volcanic rock makes it far harder to dig routes through that would need to go underground.

I wont disagree that the management has been a disaster.

However I would have thought a built up, densly populated city lends itself to high-frequency, high-capacity public transport.

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frankblack

Strange then that they ran all right until 1956.

 

Yes. There was a rail line down to Barnton Park too but that has houses built on it now. 1956 is a long time ago and our illustrious leaders decided that cars were the future and built the transport infrastructure around them. You can't rewrite history - the land is gone now.

 

I wont disagree that the management has been a disaster.

However I would have thought a built up, densly populated city lends itself to high-frequency, high-capacity public transport.

 

Yes, you would think so but as I stated above, cars and motor vehicles have been the priority of the council for the past 60 years. If they hadn't got rid of the trams back in the 50s then we would have that right now. Unfortunately the routes of the trams and other rail lines to the suburbs are all gone bar a couple of lines used for cycle tracks. Housing and offices have taken over these spaces, and you can't get it back. You will never get a tram along Queensferry Road or Corstorphine - they weren't designed to handle them and the old rail lines existed at the same time as them in the likes of Barnton Park.

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Optimus Prime

 

 

 

The concept and financial aspects are interrelated. The idiot politicians wanted a vanity project, thought there was 'free money' from the European Union/Scottish Government and were sold a pup by the grasping, gouging consultants and corporates. Then to provide 'legitimacy' they used more gouging, grasping consultants who told them what they wanted to hear with a business and environmental case which even then (as my posts on the other old thread pointed out) was absolute garbage. The point is that these were then used to shut down the debate - even at the last Council vote the idiotic decision to continue the project was based on yet another load of garbage business case that running the half line to St Andrew Square would make a profit (with passenger numbers actually increased from the initial garbage business cases despite the economic turmoil since then!). And only after the decision to waste another ?300m were the new projections that the half line will make huge operating losses released.

 

And at all times the scheme has been cheered on by useful idiots making claims about how it will reduce congestion, reduce traffic emissions, be environmentally friendly - when it fact it will make all of those things worse. Just yesterday the Council have decided yet another awful traffic scheme in the centre of Edinburgh - with Queen Street to be the only westbound route from the Grassmarket to the New Town! - and mostly to facilitate a train line on the streets. It was an awful concept, horrendous financial investment (even now and even after starting operating it will make financial sense to shut the half line), has caused enormous disruption through pathetic management during construction, will lead to Council services being cut, Council assets sold, bus routes discontinued or reduced, emissions rising, congestion rising, bus fares rising ... and yet useful idiots want more!

 

"Useful idiots"? Not quite following you on that one....anyway........

 

"Vanity Project" "Garbage business case" "Idiot Politicians" etc etc etc. Phrases that are commonly banded about by the EEN. In all seriousness has anybody ever heard the term "Vanity Project" used in any other context except the trams? Coco this is just the same boring rant (EEN inspired rant) you always come out with. I tried in my earlier post to provide you with a bit of insight/context into why its developed into such a financial mess but you've not addressed one of these points, just thrown out the usual blame rhetoric supported by baseless hearsay type evidence.

 

EU Funding? At no point was any direct EU funding on the table. This always has been and always will be a bilateral agreement between the Scottish Government and the Council.

 

The trams will run to Picardy Place not St Andrew Sq. The Leith section was cut due to it being the least financially viable section of the route. The was caused by the drastic slowing down of development at the Leith Waterfront caused by the economic downturn. The lack for development meant fewer houses than originally expected, fewer people in that area, few potential tram passengers. The business case was revised and downgraded to take this into account. What else would you expect in such a situation? If the economy picks up in the future, development will pick up and the case for this section of the route will be back on the agenda.

 

The trams WILL reduce congestion, I've explained this earlier and note you made no reference to these points. The off road sections will lessen the burden on the road network in the west of the city, particularly in areas such as Corstorphine, Gorgie, Saughton/Broomhouse. Bus services will remain, some such as the airport bus will be scaled back, others will have less stops as the tram will support this demand. An additional public transport option will also reduce car and taxi numbers/movements. You'll have less vehicles on the road make less stops leading to greater fluidity and less congestion. You may also want to look at the capacity difference between a bus and a tram and how far greater numbers of people are moved quicker and more efficiently by a tram than by a bus.

 

"Pathetic management during construction" - Please see my earlier post on the contractual situation.

 

Council cuts - Seriously are you blaming this on the trams? Yep the global economic downturn has nothing to do with this it's all the Trams fault! Another clear example of attaching blame for blames sake. Maybe the money spent on the trams could be better used to fund intervention in Syria eh Coco? I blame the trams for the crisis in the Middle East!? That's clearly an OTT example but it just highlights how ridiculous your line of thinking is and how you are clearly clutching at straws desperate to find anything to pin on the trams.

 

There's little point in us continuing with this Coco. You are hell bent on hating the trams and will likely be one of the people who never set foot on them regardless of the improvements they will make. If you were around a hundred years ago you'd probably be saying what's the point in wasting money electrifying rail networks when we've a perfectly good steam service. Try and lift your head above the Evening News look at other cities around the world, cities both bigger and smaller than Edinburgh and ask yourself why they bother doing this type of stuff. Why is London with an excellent bus service and one of the most developed underground systems on the planet spending ?16bn ripping up large parts of its central area to put in another line? Have a think about what you do when you go abroad to a foreign city, do you search for the local bus service or do you look for the rapid transit system? I bet my bottom dollar it is the latter.

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The Real Maroonblood

 

In all seriousness, the tram project was dreamt up by fantasist ****wits, contracts were signed off by council ****wits who had their pants pulled down by the contractors due to them not knowing what the **** they were doing and are now using incompetent ****wit contractors to finish the job.

 

******* unbelievable.

How many got backhanders?

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Optimus Prime

 

 

 

Yes, but other cities didn't blow their budgets completely on half a route.

 

Also, you will find that Edinburgh is more built up than most of those other towns with streets that are far too narrow to cater for tram routes, many parts full of listed buildings, especially the closer you get into the centre. The fact that most of the city is built on top of volcanic rock makes it far harder to dig routes through that would need to go underground.

 

Absolute rubbish, Edinburgh is one of the least built up cities in the UK. Just have a quick look on Google maps at an overhead of Edinburgh and compare that to any other city.

 

Yeah Princes St is a narrow street right enough!? Shandwick Place is a wee back street lane as well..................oh and wait a minute the rest of the network is off road.......

 

 

Yes. There was a rail line down to Barnton Park too but that has houses built on it now. 1956 is a long time ago and our illustrious leaders decided that cars were the future and built the transport infrastructure around them. You can't rewrite history - the land is gone now.

 

Yes, you would think so but as I stated above, cars and motor vehicles have been the priority of the council for the past 60 years. If they hadn't got rid of the trams back in the 50s then we would have that right now. Unfortunately the routes of the trams and other rail lines to the suburbs are all gone bar a couple of lines used for cycle tracks. Housing and offices have taken over these spaces, and you can't get it back. You will never get a tram along Queensferry Road or Corstorphine - they weren't designed to handle them and the old rail lines existed at the same time as them in the likes of Barnton Park.

 

Yep 60 years ago was the age of the motor car, the thinking at that time (wrongly) was that it was the future of transportation. The city evolved to adapt to this and the city will evolve back to adapt to a more public transport orientated system. Cities are moving beasts, they don't stand still, they are constantly evolving.

 

Why would you put a tram route down Corstophine? Please see my earlier posts.

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Coco

"Useful idiots"? Not quite following you on that one....anyway........

 

"Vanity Project" "Garbage business case" "Idiot Politicians" etc etc etc. Phrases that are commonly banded about by the EEN. In all seriousness has anybody ever heard the term "Vanity Project" used in any other context except the trams? Coco this is just the same boring rant (EEN inspired rant) you always come out with. I tried in my earlier post to provide you with a bit of insight/context into why its developed into such a financial mess but you've not addressed one of these points, just thrown out the usual blame rhetoric supported by baseless hearsay type evidence.

 

EU Funding? At no point was any direct EU funding on the table. This always has been and always will be a bilateral agreement between the Scottish Government and the Council.

 

The trams will run to Picardy Place not St Andrew Sq. The Leith section was cut due to it being the least financially viable section of the route. The was caused by the drastic slowing down of development at the Leith Waterfront caused by the economic downturn. The lack for development meant fewer houses than originally expected, fewer people in that area, few potential tram passengers. The business case was revised and downgraded to take this into account. What else would you expect in such a situation? If the economy picks up in the future, development will pick up and the case for this section of the route will be back on the agenda.

 

The trams WILL reduce congestion, I've explained this earlier and note you made no reference to these points. The off road sections will lessen the burden on the road network in the west of the city, particularly in areas such as Corstorphine, Gorgie, Saughton/Broomhouse. Bus services will remain, some such as the airport bus will be scaled back, others will have less stops as the tram will support this demand. An additional public transport option will also reduce car and taxi numbers/movements. You'll have less vehicles on the road make less stops leading to greater fluidity and less congestion. You may also want to look at the capacity difference between a bus and a tram and how far greater numbers of people are moved quicker and more efficiently by a tram than by a bus.

 

"Pathetic management during construction" - Please see my earlier post on the contractual situation.

 

Council cuts - Seriously are you blaming this on the trams? Yep the global economic downturn has nothing to do with this it's all the Trams fault! Another clear example of attaching blame for blames sake. Maybe the money spent on the trams could be better used to fund intervention in Syria eh Coco? I blame the trams for the crisis in the Middle East!? That's clearly an OTT example but it just highlights how ridiculous your line of thinking is and how you are clearly clutching at straws desperate to find anything to pin on the trams.

 

There's little point in us continuing with this Coco. You are hell bent on hating the trams and will likely be one of the people who never set foot on them regardless of the improvements they will make. If you were around a hundred years ago you'd probably be saying what's the point in wasting money electrifying rail networks when we've a perfectly good steam service. Try and lift your head above the Evening News look at other cities around the world, cities both bigger and smaller than Edinburgh and ask yourself why they bother doing this type of stuff. Why is London with an excellent bus service and one of the most developed underground systems on the planet spending ?16bn ripping up large parts of its central area to put in another line? Have a think about what you do when you go abroad to a foreign city, do you search for the local bus service or do you look for the rapid transit system? I bet my bottom dollar it is the latter.

 

The reason why the contracts were such a mess was that it was a political pork barrel project with an atrocious governance structure, out of their depth lawyers and with gouging, grasping contractors selling the Council snake oil. Even the crowd at Transport Scotland who are puffing out their chests at getting the half line close to finished years late are culpable - having dished out the ?500m without any scrutiny. So the contracts were a juicy dripping roast for the gouging contractors. Who then took full advantage.

 

The vote at the Council meeting was for St Andrew Square. This was 'interpreted' by the Council staff as meaning York Place with all the additional congestion and disruption that would cause.

 

The failure of the Waterfront schemes was well known by the time that the various Council votes happened. However, strangely enough the grasping consultants failed to include this in their 'business cases'.

 

Shifting some people from the airport bus will not make a significant difference to congestion - whereas the wholescale changes to the city centre traffic management setup due to putting the tram line there will increase congestion. Even the laughable business case for the whole tram line had just a 1% decrease in congestion forecast if the whole line was built!

 

The tram line is going to cost the city in the region of ?30-40m per year in terms of financing cost and operating loss/impact on Lothian Bus dividends. If you don't think that is significant in terms of cuts to other services when total Council tax in the city is c. ?200m pa then ...

 

A hundred years ago the trams were vital in Edinburgh. Putting a train line on congested city centre streets a hundred years later is not. There are lots of developments to clean or battery powered buses and to traffic management which would offer a better future for Edinburgh city centre. Comparing public transport schemes in London and Edinburgh just shows how out of touch with reality your view is.

 

http://www.johnkay.com/2011/08/31/why-trams-belong-in-museums-and-not-on-city-streets

Edited by Coco

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Optimus Prime

 

 

The reason why the contracts were such a mess was that it was a political pork barrel project with an atrocious governance structure, out of their depth lawyers and with gouging, grasping contractors selling the Council snake oil. Even the crowd at Transport Scotland who are puffing out their chests at getting the half line close to finished years late are culpable - having dished out the ?500m without any scrutiny. So the contracts were a juicy dripping roast for the gouging contractors. Who then took full advantage.

 

 

The vote at the Council meeting was for St Andrew Square. This was 'interpreted' by the Council staff as meaning York Place with all the additional congestion and disruption that would cause.

 

The failure of the Waterfront schemes was well known by the time that the various Council votes happened. However, strangely enough the grasping consultants failed to include this in their 'business cases'.

 

Shifting some people from the airport bus will not make a significant difference to congestion - whereas the wholescale changes to the city centre traffic management setup due to putting the tram line there will increase congestion. Even the laughable business case for the whole tram line had just a 1% decrease in congestion forecast if the whole line was built!

 

The tram line is going to cost the city in the region of ?30-40m per year in terms of financing cost and operating loss/impact on Lothian Bus dividends. If you don't think that is significant in terms of cuts to other services when total Council tax in the city is c. ?200m pa then ...

 

A hundred years ago the trams were vital in Edinburgh. Putting a train line on congested city centre streets a hundred years later is not. There are lots of developments to clean or battery powered buses and to traffic management which would offer a better future for Edinburgh city centre. Comparing public transport schemes in London and Edinburgh just shows how out of touch with reality your view is.

 

http://www.johnkay.com/2011/08/31/why-trams-belong-in-museums-and-not-on-city-streets

 

Once again you pick and choose what you want to say without any response to the majority of the points I've made.

 

I've explained the reasons for the costs escalating, if you want to dress it up with ultra negative/over dramatic language then so be it.

 

The tram will have two terminals Picardy Place/York Place & Edinburgh Airport - FACT

 

The business case was revised to account for the economic downturn. What you have said is categorically wrong.

 

The impact on congestion incorporates more than just the airport bus as I have already explained but you have conveniently ignored. A single tram has the capacity to move 250 people from the airport to Picardy Place in under 30 mins. Can this be achieved by bus?

 

The trams will fit into less congested streets, which will be a by product of its introduction. The whole strategy is to get people to move away from the car, the tram is just part of that.

 

London was to demonstrate a city that has a extensive transport network but is still evolving and moving forward. I'd love to see the reaction with the people of London if the mayor or prime minister said "nah we don't need more tube lines, we've got a perfectly good bus service." Edinburgh may be a smaller city but the principles remain the same. Why has Dublin, Manchester, Nice, Frankfurt, Florence, Athens, Belgrade, Bilbao bothered implementing trams in recent years? Take your pick from any similar sized city you like and come back to me with the answer. What's your first choice when you are in a foreign city Coco? Bus or Rapid Transit? I think we both know the answer to that one.

 

John McKay eh? A dubious economist with a background in banking and little evidence of any experience in transport economics. I'm interested in your transport alternatives. Your earlier posts demonstrate a clear lack of understanding on some basic transport concepts but feel free to crack on. Oh and flooding the streets with more buses isn't a viable option.

Edited by Optimus Prime

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The Real Maroonblood

Surely it would have been a lot cheaper putting a spur from the railway line to the airport.

Of course it would but let's have a tram so we can have a warm fuzzy feeling.

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Coco

Once again you pick and choose what you want to say without any response to the majority of the points I've made.

 

I've explained the reasons for the costs escalating, if you want to dress it up with ultra negative/over dramatic language then so be it.

 

The tram will have two terminals Picardy Place/York Place & Edinburgh Airport - FACT

 

The business case was revised to account for the economic downturn. What you have said is categorically wrong.

 

The impact on congestion incorporates more than just the airport bus as I have already explained but you have conveniently ignored. A single tram has the capacity to move 250 people from the airport to Picardy Place in under 30 mins. Can this be achieved by bus?

 

The trams will fit into less congested streets, which will be a by product of its introduction. The whole strategy is to get people to move away from the car, the tram is just part of that.

 

London was to demonstrate a city that has a extensive transport network but is still evolving and moving forward. I'd love to see the reaction with the people of London if the mayor or prime minister said "nah we don't need more tube lines, we've got a perfectly good bus service." Edinburgh may be a smaller city but the principles remain the same. Why has Dublin, Manchester, Nice, Frankfurt, Florence, Athens, Belgrade, Bilbao bothered implementing trams in recent years? Take your pick from any similar sized city you like and come back to me with the answer. What's your first choice when you are in a foreign city Coco? Bus or Rapid Transit? I think we both know the answer to that one.

 

John McKay eh? A dubious economist with a background in banking and little evidence of any experience in transport economics. I'm interested in your transport alternatives. Your earlier posts demonstrate a clear lack of understanding on some basic transport concepts but feel free to crack on. Oh and flooding the streets with more buses isn't a viable option.

 

The Council voted for St Andrew Square. Not Picardy Place or York Place which was the work of Dave Anderson, who left the Council in very murky circumstances.

 

The business case was revised down deliberately after the decision to proceed was taken. Years after the economic downturn. The business case which the Council voted on included another development of RBS size at Gogar, huge developments at the Gyle and Leith and the like ... all after the economy had blown up. How many times per day are 250 people in each tram going to go from the Airport to Picardy Place? Not enough for even the Council to be forecasting the half line to break even now.

 

The choice of transport to get from an airport close to the city centre - as in Edinburgh - is very low on my list of priorities when visiting a country. The airport bus is a good, well used service which is as quick as the half tram line.

 

Why not a better bus service? A flexible, environmentally friendly setup. Not necessary for every bus route to go to the City centre. The transport consultants used in the past have been a disaster in Edinburgh ... so hopefully in future they will be ignored.

 

That all said we are where we are. Hopefully the half line will be scrapped but it is likely to limp on while the tens of millions of pounds are scraped together by the Council taxpayers to pay for it. And hopefully the snake oil consultants/corporates will not be allowed to beguile the idiot Councillors in the future with hopes of more.

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pablo

If we were going to spend a billion pounds, couldn't we have got something that moved people around the city quickly and which opened up different routes?

 

Opportunity missed if you ask me.

 

The tram line doesn't go anywhere new. I'd love a city wide network of rail/tube/tram as an alternative to the bus network. One that would encourage people to get out and explore and move throughout the whole city.

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frankblack

Absolute rubbish, Edinburgh is one of the least built up cities in the UK. Just have a quick look on Google maps at an overhead of Edinburgh and compare that to any other city.

 

Yeah Princes St is a narrow street right enough!? Shandwick Place is a wee back street lane as well..................oh and wait a minute the rest of the network is off road.......

 

Sorry but I call bullshit. There are more than half a million people living in Edinburgh, and considerably more during festival season. Sure there is green belt areas but I think you will find they are protected for a good reason.

 

You mention Shandwick Place. Do you know how many buses run through there (or should I say used to run through a couple of years ago before the road was closed). Have you been on a bus trying to go through Shandwick Place at rush hour?

 

Now you mentioned Shandwick Place as a back-street lane. That is more apt to describe Queensferry Street, which is the main route to Barnton and the bridge from town. Try getting a tram down there!

 

Yep 60 years ago was the age of the motor car, the thinking at that time (wrongly) was that it was the future of transportation. The city evolved to adapt to this and the city will evolve back to adapt to a more public transport orientated system. Cities are moving beasts, they don't stand still, they are constantly evolving.

 

Why would you put a tram route down Corstophine? Please see my earlier posts.

 

Cities do not move, they are made of bricks and mortar. I think you'll find that the majority of Edinburgh's buildings are fairly settled and the old run-down brownfield sites have long since been replaced in the centre of town, mostly by major offices.

 

I gave Corstorphine as an example of a big population centre in Edinburgh, and also has the Zoo and Hotels. Perhaps you think people do need to travel there, and you haven't given a solution to narrow roads like St. John's Road and Queensferry Road/Dean Bridge. Sorry but your previous posts are laughable trying to compare Edinburgh's transport system to London. They have had their tube network for a very long time.

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Optimus Prime

 

 

Sorry but I call bullshit. There are more than half a million people living in Edinburgh, and considerably more during festival season. Sure there is green belt areas but I think you will find they are protected for a good reason.

 

You mention Shandwick Place. Do you know how many buses run through there (or should I say used to run through a couple of years ago before the road was closed). Have you been on a bus trying to go through Shandwick Place at rush hour?

 

Now you mentioned Shandwick Place as a back-street lane. That is more apt to describe Queensferry Street, which is the main route to Barnton and the bridge from town. Try getting a tram down there!

 

 

 

Cities do not move, they are made of bricks and mortar. I think you'll find that the majority of Edinburgh's buildings are fairly settled and the old run-down brownfield sites have long since been replaced in the centre of town, mostly by major offices.

 

I gave Corstorphine as an example of a big population centre in Edinburgh, and also has the Zoo and Hotels. Perhaps you think people do need to travel there, and you haven't given a solution to narrow roads like St. John's Road and Queensferry Road/Dean Bridge. Sorry but your previous posts are laughable trying to compare Edinburgh's transport system to London. They have had their tube network for a very long time.

 

There isn't a facepalm big enough for this post. More holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

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frankblack

There isn't a facepalm big enough for this post. More holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

 

Thats the second point running you opened with a discrediting remark without remotely justifying any points. I rate you as a complete fantasist that needs a major reality check - full of hot air with nothing constructive to say. Selective quoting of posts to only answer the points that match your point of view doesn't get you anywhere.

 

You don't like what people have said so you have just put your fingers in your ear and shouted them down like a child.

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Dunks

You could say the same thing about quite a few posters on this thread Frank - on both sides of the discussion.

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frankblack

You could say the same thing about quite a few posters on this thread Frank - on both sides of the discussion.

 

I've got plenty of time to debate sensibly with people - even if I disagree with them. However, I find it insulting when someone resorts to personal attacks or dismissive language to discredit the poster without the remotest attempt at constructive criticism. It shows very weak debating skills and is akin to a schoolboy running away with the football to stop his team losing a kick-about in a public park.

 

My views on the trams are that in principle it would have been a good idea, but has been botched beyond repair by the council. The chosen route is an utter joke and is a vanity project run by councillors trying to paper over the cracks in our public transport by sticking on a route to the airport that tourists will be use and think we are like other towns and cities as they enter and leave.

 

What Edinburgh needed was a tram system for the people that would take traffic away from the city. The main commuter routes into the city should have been served by trams from park and ride tram services in the likes of South Queensferry, Ingliston, and somewhere on the southern outskirts. There are far more people coming into the city every day to work by car via those routes than fly in or out. Sadly the money has been blown and we as the council tax payers will be forking out to pay off the debt for the currently unfinished half-line, and I'll be long retired before any of those other projects ever re-emerge.

Edited by frankblack

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Optimus Prime

Ok Frank, lets do this.

 

 

 

Sorry but I call bullshit. There are more than half a million people living in Edinburgh, and considerably more during festival season. Sure there is green belt areas but I think you will find they are protected for a good reason.

 

You mention Shandwick Place. Do you know how many buses run through there (or should I say used to run through a couple of years ago before the road was closed). Have you been on a bus trying to go through Shandwick Place at rush hour?

 

Now you mentioned Shandwick Place as a back-street lane. That is more apt to describe Queensferry Street, which is the main route to Barnton and the bridge from town. Try getting a tram down there!

 

Cities do not move, they are made of bricks and mortar. I think you'll find that the majority of Edinburgh's buildings are fairly settled and the old run-down brownfield sites have long since been replaced in the centre of town, mostly by major offices.

 

I gave Corstorphine as an example of a big population centre in Edinburgh, and also has the Zoo and Hotels. Perhaps you think people do need to travel there, and you haven't given a solution to narrow roads like St. John's Road and Queensferry Road/Dean Bridge. Sorry but your previous posts are laughable trying to compare Edinburgh's transport system to London. They have had their tube network for a very long time.

 

You said Edinburgh was more "built up" than most other towns and it has lots of narrow streets. I assumed this was a reference to the urban density of the city based on floor space ratio? You then threw in the comment above population density which is a completely different point and suggests you are getting your wired crossed. If we are talking urban density in terms of developed floor space then Edinburgh is one of the least developed cities in the Uk and I would say the world as well. There are a number of reasons tourists flock to our city one of which is the Georgian architecture of the new town, a feature of which is its wide boulevards. As I say have a look at Google maps and compare the overhead of Edinburgh to Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle or whatever city you fancy and look at how less densely developed the urban form is in Edinburgh.

 

On population, yes you are correct the population is growing and at certain times of the year the population swells. How do you combat that Frank and ensure you can keep people moving and avoid congestion/gridlock? You look at growth forecasts and devise transport infrastructure proposals to combat this. The status quo is not an option here, more buses is not an option. Why did London not decide all those years ago to just put more buses on the street? It was recognised that rapid transit was the most flexible/efficient way of doing this, Edinburgh as a smaller growing city has now reached that point in its evolution. The idea that London can't be used as an example because its bigger is simplistic and naive. London faced the challenges Edinburgh faces today sometime ago and growing cities need to look at how this was tackled in the past.

 

On your point about Corstorphine/Queensferry St etc. Did you read my comments earlier Frank when I referred to the tram network as complimenting the bus service and providing a backbone to the city's public transport service? Trams will not replace buses, trams will not run down every major street in this city. The tram will run through major traffic movement routes throughout the city. The proposed route will deal with the huge pressure the west of the city is under in terms of major traffic flows in and out of the city. The route adds another, quicker, more efficient route through the city taking pedestrian flow off road ( in the vast majority of the network) and relieving the pressure on areas like Corstorphine. You mentioned people travelling to the Zoo, how much easier will it be for people to jump on a 26 bus from Princes St and head along that route with the vast majority of the people who would've used that route to get to the airport being taken off road on a different route. The congestion on this area will be eased and will allow the bus network to run smoother and more effectively.

 

"Cities do not move, they are made of bricks and mortar.".........Ah come on Frank! Are you really taking me literally on this? I'm not suggesting the city actually moves, I'm saying the city is always evolving, always changing, never standing still. New developments spring up, new populations come into the city, big companies come in/leave, airports get expanded, new roads get built, new bus routes etc etc etc. The point is that cities are constantly changing, each change forces other aspects to adapt to that change, some of the changes in Edinburgh need its transport infrastructure to grow/ become more flexible, hence the need for a rapid transport system.

 

 

Thats the second point running you opened with a discrediting remark without remotely justifying any points. I rate you as a complete fantasist that needs a major reality check - full of hot air with nothing constructive to say. Selective quoting of posts to only answer the points that match your point of view doesn't get you anywhere.

 

You don't like what people have said so you have just put your fingers in your ear and shouted them down like a child.

 

A fantasist Frank, really? I've justified my points earlier many times, it's clear from your response last night that you've either not read my points or don't understand them. I originally provided some background on the financial situation which is cold hard fact, not fantasy. I'm in complete agreement about the financial mess, it has been handled appallingly and with a lack of experience at the high level about what they were getting involved in. The principle of what the city is trying to achieve here though remains sound. You strike me as somebody who has jumped on the EEN bandwagon without looking at the key questions I posed in an earlier post (please take the time to look at this) about moving the city forward and responding to its growth. You don't make any new points Frank, you just roll out the same jargon that I've heard a million times, too short sighted to see the city has to look to the future and have an infrastructure in place to make it function in the years ahead.

 

 

I've got plenty of time to debate sensibly with people - even if I disagree with them. However, I find it insulting when someone resorts to personal attacks or dismissive language to discredit the poster without the remotest attempt at constructive criticism. It shows very weak debating skills and is akin to a schoolboy running away with the football to stop his team losing a kick-about in a public park.

 

My views on the trams are that in principle it would have been a good idea, but has been botched beyond repair by the council. The chosen route is an utter joke and is a vanity project run by councillors trying to paper over the cracks in our public transport by sticking on a route to the airport that tourists will be use and think we are like other towns and cities as they enter and leave.

 

What Edinburgh needed was a tram system for the people that would take traffic away from the city. The main commuter routes into the city should have been served by trams from park and ride tram services in the likes of South Queensferry, Ingliston, and somewhere on the southern outskirts. There are far more people coming into the city every day to work by car via those routes than fly in or out. Sadly the money has been blown and we as the council tax payers will be forking out to pay off the debt for the currently unfinished half-line, and I'll be long retired before any of those other projects ever re-emerge.

 

Personal attacks? I'm sorry Frank I've not made one personal attack. Yes I have dismissed your points but as I have shown above i've tried to answer those and if you read my earlier posts you with find I have made constructive points around the financial situation, the business case and the principles of the project. I think the reality is that it's you who's running away from the park with your ball as I'm providing points you don't want to hear.

 

"Vanity Project" there's that phrase again! You would never have described it as this if you hadn't heard it in the EEN Frank.

 

Airports are used by more than just tourists Frank, they are also used by professional business people. Such people tend to come to cities like Edinburgh for business meetings, conferences etc. Such event usually run to some short of schedule and people need to be able to know they can get to a certain place in the city by a certain time. This can't be guaranteed with a bus service but you can with a tram. When big business companies choose to locate/hold events in certain cities they tend to look for good transport infrastructure as a major factor in their decision making process. "Dublin or Edinburgh?" Well Dublin has a excellent world class tram network which will guarantee we can get our staff/clients in quickly and on time..... but hey wait a minute Edinburgh has a good bus service."

 

Back to the route again (sigh). No Frank the chosen route is not "an utter joke". It links the city centre, the cities two railway stations, its biggest stadium, its major business park, its main western park and ride facility, one of its biggest shopping centres and a large number of surrounding residential areas. And it does this by taking this traffic off the road and away from areas like Corstorphine.

 

"What Edinburgh needed was a tram system for the people that would take traffic away from the city." - Yes Frank that's exactly what it will do. Building lines down Corstorphine Road won't do this.

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frankblack

Ok Frank, lets do this.

 

If you want to debate this like adults I'll play fair. I really can't be bothered with childish name calling and shouting matches.

 

You said Edinburgh was more "built up" than most other towns and it has lots of narrow streets. I assumed this was a reference to the urban density of the city based on floor space ratio? You then threw in the comment above population density which is a completely different point and suggests you are getting your wired crossed. If we are talking urban density in terms of developed floor space then Edinburgh is one of the least developed cities in the Uk and I would say the world as well. There are a number of reasons tourists flock to our city one of which is the Georgian architecture of the new town, a feature of which is its wide boulevards. As I say have a look at Google maps and compare the overhead of Edinburgh to Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle or whatever city you fancy and look at how less densely developed the urban form is in Edinburgh.

 

As I said earlier, the likes of Glasgow and London can dig underground for tube lines whereas we have a city built on volcanic rock. These other cities didn't make the same blunders our council did in the 50s by scrapping their tram or light rail systems.

 

By built up I mean in terms of number of buildings not how high they are. By narrow streets you overlook roads in existence long before Georgian times or in the suburbs where that architecture is less common.

 

On population, yes you are correct the population is growing and at certain times of the year the population swells. How do you combat that Frank and ensure you can keep people moving and avoid congestion/gridlock? You look at growth forecasts and devise transport infrastructure proposals to combat this. The status quo is not an option here, more buses is not an option. Why did London not decide all those years ago to just put more buses on the street? It was recognised that rapid transit was the most flexible/efficient way of doing this, Edinburgh as a smaller growing city has now reached that point in its evolution. The idea that London can't be used as an example because its bigger is simplistic and naive. London faced the challenges Edinburgh faces today sometime ago and growing cities need to look at how this was tackled in the past.

 

Again, comparing us with London is a false comparison. If we had continued the light rail systems and trams from the 50s we would be in a much better place. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

 

On your point about Corstorphine/Queensferry St etc. Did you read my comments earlier Frank when I referred to the tram network as complimenting the bus service and providing a backbone to the city's public transport service? Trams will not replace buses, trams will not run down every major street in this city. The tram will run through major traffic movement routes throughout the city. The proposed route will deal with the huge pressure the west of the city is under in terms of major traffic flows in and out of the city. The route adds another, quicker, more efficient route through the city taking pedestrian flow off road ( in the vast majority of the network) and relieving the pressure on areas like Corstorphine. You mentioned people travelling to the Zoo, how much easier will it be for people to jump on a 26 bus from Princes St and head along that route with the vast majority of the people who would've used that route to get to the airport being taken off road on a different route. The congestion on this area will be eased and will allow the bus network to run smoother and more effectively.

 

I gave a couple of examples of two of the busiest routes into the city from the west - Queensferry Road and Corstorpine. Those ought to be bigger priority than an airport route when we already have a couple of airport buses - 35 and 100. The fact is that people flying nowadays is declining as train speeds increase and security checks etc at airports inconvenience people. An internal flight to London isn't a great deal better than the train when you take everything into account.

 

Corstorphine/Murrayfield has a zoo, a big Holiday Inn, Marriot, Zoo, Murrayfield Stadium and many other things.

 

"Cities do not move, they are made of bricks and mortar.".........Ah come on Frank! Are you really taking me literally on this? I'm not suggesting the city actually moves, I'm saying the city is always evolving, always changing, never standing still. New developments spring up, new populations come into the city, big companies come in/leave, airports get expanded, new roads get built, new bus routes etc etc etc. The point is that cities are constantly changing, each change forces other aspects to adapt to that change, some of the changes in Edinburgh need its transport infrastructure to grow/ become more flexible, hence the need for a rapid transport system.

 

The point is that you cannot rewire the routes in the city centre and elsewhere as proven by the disruptions and diversions around shandwick place and princes st for the works. The fact that things need to change to make an improvement in transport infrastructure is irrelevant its down to how feasible and cost effective it is.

 

 

A fantasist Frank, really? I've justified my points earlier many times, it's clear from your response last night that you've either not read my points or don't understand them. I originally provided some background on the financial situation which is cold hard fact, not fantasy. I'm in complete agreement about the financial mess, it has been handled appallingly and with a lack of experience at the high level about what they were getting involved in. The principle of what the city is trying to achieve here though remains sound. You strike me as somebody who has jumped on the EEN bandwagon without looking at the key questions I posed in an earlier post (please take the time to look at this) about moving the city forward and responding to its growth. You don't make any new points Frank, you just roll out the same jargon that I've heard a million times, too short sighted to see the city has to look to the future and have an infrastructure in place to make it function in the years ahead.

 

My view is that we have blown it big style and the city is already considerably in debt as a result. We had the money but the wrong people were in charge to make it happen.

 

By fantasist I mean that you keep saying that things will happen because they need to but the financial reasons now mean that its not going to happen for a long time.

 

"Vanity Project" there's that phrase again! You would never have described it as this if you hadn't heard it in the EEN Frank.

 

Airports are used by more than just tourists Frank, they are also used by professional business people. Such people tend to come to cities like Edinburgh for business meetings, conferences etc. Such event usually run to some short of schedule and people need to be able to know they can get to a certain place in the city by a certain time. This can't be guaranteed with a bus service but you can with a tram. When big business companies choose to locate/hold events in certain cities they tend to look for good transport infrastructure as a major factor in their decision making process. "Dublin or Edinburgh?" Well Dublin has a excellent world class tram network which will guarantee we can get our staff/clients in quickly and on time..... but hey wait a minute Edinburgh has a good bus service."

 

I'm not saying we don't need an Airport link, just that it should be bottom of the priority routes. Reducing congestion should be the number one priority hence I suggested park and ride schemes for the pressure points outwith the city - from the bridge, west, and south.

 

Back to the route again (sigh). No Frank the chosen route is not "an utter joke". It links the city centre, the cities two railway stations, its biggest stadium, its major business park, its main western park and ride facility, one of its biggest shopping centres and a large number of surrounding residential areas. And it does this by taking this traffic off the road and away from areas like Corstorphine.

 

"What Edinburgh needed was a tram system for the people that would take traffic away from the city." - Yes Frank that's exactly what it will do. Building lines down Corstorphine Road won't do this.

 

Corstorpine Road was an example of how trams wouldn't fit onto our existing road network as the roads are too narrow.

 

You can already get a train to the Gyle business park. My brother does that all the time from Waveley. Murrayfield Stadium only hosts events say 10 times a year, so you could argue that Tynecastle and Easter Road were bigger priorities for link ups.

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Tommy Wiseau

Optimus, you are making a stalwart defence of this project, but I can't help but think that your argument is fundamentally flawed, basing it as you are on the idea that concept and finance are not inherently intertwined.

 

It has been a financial disaster for the city - 3 times the original cost projection, for a fraction of the original proposed service, and innumerable business either folding or losing money hand over fist as a direct result of the tram works - and I'm afraid that cannot be separated from the concept. Projects aren't built on concept alone, they're built with money. You can argue until you're blue in the face that the idea was sound and the financial side of things doesn't change that - but the real politik is that the financial side is a key component of the project. It could be the best idea in the world conceptually, but if it is a financial disaster it is still a disaster. I actually disagree with your argument that the concept was sound, but as that's not important to my point, we'll just say for argument's sake that it was.

 

On the point of the EEN, the newspaper reflects the opinions of its journalists and, by extension, its readership. It reads like it has something against the tram project because, just like the majority of people in the city, it is against the tram project. The anger against the trams is not the result of an EEN Machiavellian plot, for goodness sake.

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Optimus Prime

 

 

 

If you want to debate this like adults I'll play fair. I really can't be bothered with childish name calling and shouting matches.

 

 

 

As I said earlier, the likes of Glasgow and London can dig underground for tube lines whereas we have a city built on volcanic rock. These other cities didn't make the same blunders our council did in the 50s by scrapping their tram or light rail systems.

 

By built up I mean in terms of number of buildings not how high they are. By narrow streets you overlook roads in existence long before Georgian times or in the suburbs where that architecture is less common.

 

 

 

Again, comparing us with London is a false comparison. If we had continued the light rail systems and trams from the 50s we would be in a much better place. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

 

 

 

I gave a couple of examples of two of the busiest routes into the city from the west - Queensferry Road and Corstorpine. Those ought to be bigger priority than an airport route when we already have a couple of airport buses - 35 and 100. The fact is that people flying nowadays is declining as train speeds increase and security checks etc at airports inconvenience people. An internal flight to London isn't a great deal better than the train when you take everything into account.

 

Corstorphine/Murrayfield has a zoo, a big Holiday Inn, Marriot, Zoo, Murrayfield Stadium and many other things.

 

 

 

The point is that you cannot rewire the routes in the city centre and elsewhere as proven by the disruptions and diversions around shandwick place and princes st for the works. The fact that things need to change to make an improvement in transport infrastructure is irrelevant its down to how feasible and cost effective it is.

 

 

 

 

My view is that we have blown it big style and the city is already considerably in debt as a result. We had the money but the wrong people were in charge to make it happen.

 

By fantasist I mean that you keep saying that things will happen because they need to but the financial reasons now mean that its not going to happen for a long time.

 

 

 

I'm not saying we don't need an Airport link, just that it should be bottom of the priority routes. Reducing congestion should be the number one priority hence I suggested park and ride schemes for the pressure points outwith the city - from the bridge, west, and south.

 

 

 

Corstorpine Road was an example of how trams wouldn't fit onto our existing road network as the roads are too narrow.

 

You can already get a train to the Gyle business park. My brother does that all the time from Waveley. Murrayfield Stadium only hosts events say 10 times a year, so you could argue that Tynecastle and Easter Road were bigger priorities for link ups.

 

When have I called you any names Frank?

 

Any city is a valid comparison to any other. City's generally evolve the same way. The difference is bigger cities evolve at an earlier rate. The challenges remain the same. London is valid as they installed a rapid transit system (be it underground or tram) to cope with the cities expansion as Edinburgh is doing now.

 

Scapping the trams was a mistake, but as I've explained earlier this was the age of the motor car, thinking was different back then. Time has served to prove that rapid transit is the best system for an urban area. Edinburgh was not the only city to make this mistake.

 

Cotstorphine/Queensferry/Gorgie/Saughton are the priorities Frank. The tram network reduces the pressure on these areas. You don't seem to get this point at all. The tram will remove a large chunk of the traffic using these areas as a through route to get to the airport, the Gyle, Edinburgh Park etc This will make it less congested for the people who want to go to these areas for the facilities there.

 

"The fact that things need to change to make an improvement in transport infrastructure is irrelevant its down to how feasible and cost effective it is" - That is a terrible statement Frank and highlights a lack of understanding on this topic. Transport infrastructure is expensive its a fact of life, again I've mentioned this earlier (and before you say it, yes it's cost more in Edinburgh than it should've done). You cannot just sit there and do nothing as the city expands, you have to be proactive and implement infrastructure improvements otherwise the city won't function. Again I'm going to use London here but why are they spending ?16bn to build a new railway line through the city if they have an extensive tube network already?

 

"By fantasist I mean that you keep saying that things will happen because they need to but the financial reasons now mean that its not going to happen for a long time." - We'll Frank take a look around the city, you'll see bridges popping up, track being laid, stations rising out the ground. It may have taken time but it will be happening in the short term not the long term.

 

Airport Link - We'll whether you like it or not the traffic flow from the airport/ingliston into the city centre and vice versa is the single biggest movement in the city so yes it does need to be a priority.

 

Edinburgh Park - I'm please for your brother. But it will make it easier for a great deal of people to get to Edinburgh Park who are currently not within striking distance of Waverley. Without knowing where you brother lives it may even give him an easier route in rather than going to Waverley. If it doesn't for him it will for a lot of people.

 

Stadiums - No you can't argue that, Tynecastle and Easter Road are less than a third of the size of Murrayfield and the people movement required is not on the same scale regardless of the frequency of use.

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Optimus Prime

 

Optimus, you are making a stalwart defence of this project, but I can't help but think that your argument is fundamentally flawed, basing it as you are on the idea that concept and finance are not inherently intertwined.

 

It has been a financial disaster for the city - 3 times the original cost projection, for a fraction of the original proposed service, and innumerable business either folding or losing money hand over fist as a direct result of the tram works - and I'm afraid that cannot be separated from the concept. Projects aren't built on concept alone, they're built with money. You can argue until you're blue in the face that the idea was sound and the financial side of things doesn't change that - but the real politik is that the financial side is a key component of the project. It could be the best idea in the world conceptually, but if it is a financial disaster it is still a disaster. I actually disagree with your argument that the concept was sound, but as that's not important to my point, we'll just say for argument's sake that it was.

 

On the point of the EEN, the newspaper reflects the opinions of its journalists and, by extension, its readership. It reads like it has something against the tram project because, just like the majority of people in the city, it is against the tram project. The anger against the trams is not the result of an EEN Machiavellian plot, for goodness sake.

 

I take your point, what I'm trying to do is separate the financial mess from the concept. The financial problems weren't caused by the concept but by the political climate at the time and some disastrous legal decisions. Regardless of the shambles the financial side of things have become the bottom line is Edinburgh needs to modernise its transport infrastructure to respond to its growth and be able to continue to grow. The city needs to compete on a commercial level and the various challenges that being a capital city brings. The airport is the most rapidly expanding airport in the UK, it will outstrip Glasgow in a couple of years. The surrounding infrastructure needs to respond to this. Rapid transit is the way of doing this.

 

The EEN granted have had a hell of a lot of ammunition to chew over no doubt about it. However there has been a tendency to put a negative spin on a lot of aspects just to continue the damming of this project (Chapsticks earlier post is a case in point). The EEN should be taking a more responsible role in all this, by all means scrutinise the financial situation but also look a bit more objectively as to why this is being done in the first place i.e what I said in the last paragraph. The EEN has only served to pour more fuel on the fire and helped create a ultra negative attitude within the city. I'll be interested in how they will report when the thing is actually up and running and public opinion slow starts to soften Tommy.

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