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release 77 -- Should Cllr Mackenzie now resign


(To see the plans that may not display here,  link to the pdf vbersion of this news release)


  • Should it matter if the facts get in the way of a good soundbite any more?


  • The attached map shows the facts— it has been sent to Cllr Gordon Mackenzie, Convenor of the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment committee and Director of tie.


  • Cllr. Gordon Mackenzie either does not know what the facts are about the Tram Project in which he has been a pivotal figure for three years ….or he does know,


  • Which is it? – but either way it doesn’t look good.

Last week in the aftermath of a long overdue outbreak of common sense and sanity over the Tram project Cllr Mackenzie saw fit to comment that Shandwick Place would still not be returned to use for traffic because it would be required to be used to build a large ‘turn back facility’.

This was significant because a group of concerned residents, which has been growing constantly over the last year, have shown how reopening Shandwick Place is crucial to avoiding the increases in traffic in residential streets and bringing increases in pollution from commercial streets to those same residential streets.

It was also wrongbecause the plans of the project have always shown a turn back facility built in Haymarket and not in Shandwick Place, needed because the original plans envisaged the need to stop trams before Princes Street when the set piece celebrations and festivals meant that street would be closed.


Alistair Laing: a retired civil engineer who has worked on civil engineering projects around the world:“Cllr Mackenzie stated categorically that even if Haymarket is now the preferred option it would not mean the re-opening of the street to traffic because it would be needed for a turn back facility for the trams, to allow them to return to the airport along the line of the track.”


“This is simply wrong; there is a turn back facility already in the plans at the Haymarket section.”

“This is there because it was always envisaged that for festivals and fireworks Princes Street could be closed off and the trams would need to be sent on the return run from Haymarket.”

 “He needs to give more explanation why he said what he did say about Shandwick Place.”

“If Cllr Mackenzie did know it was in the plans, then why did he say what he did?”

“If Cllr Mackenzie didn’t know it was in the plans, this seems incomprehensible given he has been the senior figure on the council involved in the project, and a full member of the Board of Directors of tie, until its recent demise, the company controlling the scheme.”

Allan Alstead, a prominent member of the group concerned about the cavalier attitude to congestion, pollution, and noise transferred to residential streets across Edinburgh: “ It may be excusable that Cllr Mackenzie’s remark slipped past many of the public and many in the media, I was not aware that a turn back facility had been designed into the project.”

“However Alistair Laing, John Carson and Derek Shepherd are three people who have spent their working lives on these sorts of projects and because of that have shown a close interest in the project, each of them were instantly aware that  turn backwas already in the plans.”

“They were astonished that the single most important person on the Council side, responsible for reporting to the elected chamber, seemed to be totally unaware of this.”

“Given that he also is a full member of the Board of Directors of tie, where the need for a facility to take account of both planned and emergency closures of Princes Street must have been a major item of business this ignorance appears even more incredible.”

“Either he doesn’t know what he is talking about, in which case he should not be doing the job he is doing, either on behalf of the City or the now defunct tie, and resign.”

“Or he does know what he is talking about, and knew that turn back exists, and therefore needs to explain clearly why he said what he did, at the time that he said it, because without a good explanation the implications don’t bear thinking about.”

The proposed turn back siding already included in the plans.

This confirms it IS at Haymarket

The whole plan, from which the details above have been extracted.