A Timeline of events in the Edinburgh Tram project and the resident's attempts to have the real nature of the problems made public.
Edinburgh Tram History
(Some courtesy of the Edinburgh Evening News dated 11 March 2010) :
2001 September: CEC launches its new transport initiative which includes the reintroduction of trams.
2003 March: Tram project to cost £375m and be operational by 2008- The whole initial project comprising phase 1a from airport to Leith-Newhaven & phase 1b from Granton to Roseburn through the 'Roseburn Corridor'
2006 January: Due to funding crisis only the line from Newhaven to the Airport deemed affordable in a 'first phase'.
2007 June: Scottish Parliament (SNP minority Government) drops opposition to tram plans.
July: Preparatory work begins with a completion date of spring 2011 but phase 1a now at a cost of £512m.
2008 July: Princes Street closed for seven months.
October: Princes Street closure delayed due to traffic chaos on The Mound.
November: First tie Chairman, Willie Gallagher, resigns.
December: David Mackay appointed Chairman of tie and admits cost rises are inevitable.
2009 February: Bilfinger Berger stop work demanding more money to complete the work (actually due to none payment of contractual claims)
May: Completion date slips to 2012 and costs increase to £545m. £500 million from the Scottish Government, £20Million from Edinburgh Council and £25 Million from business and developers
2010 July: Residents try and have a motion debated about Shandwick Place--the motion as presented is redacted and changed almost completely just a very short time before, residents protest at the changes. The motion is debated but action is rejected.
2011 January : Meeting designed to provide open discussion of issues for which residents had pushed turns into a heavily stage managed event with presentation restricted to 5 minutes by Councillor Gordon Mackenzie and prepared motions to clear the council being presented and voted upon without any real discussion of the issues.
March:New Chief Executive concludes negotiations with Billfinger Berger and other contractors in the BBS consortium with a view to getting the project completed at any cost
May: Results of the meeting revealed in press conference with Vic Emey at which the executives reveal their preferred solution. But questions remain over detailed civil engineering points
June: Councillors told of this preferred solution..to build to York Place at a new total cost of £770M excluding financing costs , Contributions revealed as £500M from the Scottish Government, £7M from developers and shops and £270M from Edinburgh City Council.
June: Councillors vote in favour of £770M York Place option and against both the 'abandonment' and the 'pause at Haymarket' options, priced in the report at £700M--almost immediately this figure disintegrates and is revealed as being £600M as a solid offer to complete this phase to Haymarket had been made by the BBS consortium. With the York Place option at an uncapped £770M, officials did not mention the borrowing costs of £14M per year to finance the £230M needed--paying this capital sum and the financing costs over a number of decades exceeds the 'operating contribution' proposed of £2M. Haymarket at £600M needing a far lower extra contribution, and even accepting the £4.5Million operating loss falling to £3.1M quoted after a few years still works out far cheaper and leave the council with options open.
August: Labour and Conservative councillors worried by both the sky rocketing costs of the York Place option and it's pollution creating aspects vote for 'Haymarket'.
September: Within days following threats to land the Council with enormous bills by the SNP Scottish Government, the Council vote again and this time the ruling LIb-Dem and SNP coalition force through the vote to build to York Place.
November: Residents attend a meeting arranged by Edinburgh Tram manager Andy Conway to receive the draft proposals of the workshops process but no council representatives turn up at all.
November: MSP Kezia Dugdale receives ludicrous response to her FOI request to Transport Scotland over Tram related matters, with virtually all information presented being obscured by black redaction squares--residents were not surprised as this mirrors some of the same responses they have experienced..
December: Two of the residents go to the United Nations in geneva to present their case to the Aarhus Convention compliance committee concerning allegations that Edinburgh Council and the Uk Government have denied residents access to facts, and by doing so, denied them access to justice. Something the UK government signed up to the Aarhus convention to uphold.
2012 January Residents discover a major development in Charlotte Square is likely to lead to even more traffic going through the residential streets.
February: Residents attend a 'conciliatory meeting' which explodes at the end when a report is pushed across the table that has been written entirely by council officers with no input from residents, filled with mistakes, which also distorts the draft proposals produced by the workshops. In this meeting despite pollution rising in Edinburgh they hear traffic volume is actually down 7% in the city due to the recession at present-- the potential impact on pollution post-recession is clear..
March: Residents decide to set up a website as the only way to organise and present the mass of evidence they have and try and engage with people directly to inform them of what is going on.
March: Residents see the release of the proposals for the City's Southern Arc by the council in which traffic created pollution is described as a major and serious health issue and which has led to major proposals designed to restrict traffic. Residents are amazed that they were not told of this, and that it confirms many of their own fears, but without any acknowledgement.