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The Large Hadron Collider v the Edinburgh Tram project

There was an article on the Daily record online very recently by Scott Douglas,  that touched on the role of the Large Hadron Collider in confirming the existence of the 'God Particle', the Higgs Boson, that gained Edinburgh's Professor Higgs a well merited Nobel Prize.

It's an interesting read, and after name checking Professor Higgs Mr Douglas went on to  compare the cost of the Large Hadron Collider  to the Edinburgh Tram project..

  • LHC - 17 miles of tunnel reaching 570 feet underground, having been described as 'one of the great engineering milestones of mankind" cost £2.6 Billion pounds.

Cracking on - or cracking up

You couldn't make this up, could you?  An article in the Herald reveals the concrete in the tram rail bed is cracking up after early test runs.

The article was flagged up by one of our (unpaid) army of spotters accompanied by this list of extracts and the final comment.

"...expansion joints had not been added to the concrete." Come on, you Engineers. Tell me that expansion joints are not mandatory?
"...the reinforcement wires will rust and then the concrete will break apart. It's clearly going to be a maintenance problem. " Are these not statements of the blindingly obvious?

When The facts change I change my mind, what do you do?

The quote in the title, from JM Keynes, gets to the heart of the problem that continues to cause havoc in Edinburgh.

Here, in Liverpool, this report shows the council prepared to look at anything that might help their city, and the people who live and work in it.

The point is not that because Liverpool is proposing closing down all it's bus lanes ,so should Edinburgh.  Conditions are different in different cities.

The point is that Liverpool Council is prepared to look at different solutions in 2013 because the facts and conditions are no longer the same as they were when previous decisons,

Here we go again!

A few days ago Sir Donald Mackay used the pages of the Scotsman newspaper to give us all the benefit of his thoughts on the tram project and the chances, as he sees it, of 'pushing on' with the project.

Reading it one feels almost trapped in the early years of this century, listening to the same over confident assertions and out dated ideas, riddled with complacency,  showing no evidence of having learned any  lessons from the past catastrophic decade.

On this website we have long argued that our council and city establishment  can never hope to do anything about the mess we are in as a

Now we are getting somewhere

For casual onlookers to the ongoing disaster that is the Edinburgh Tram project it can often seem impossible to work out how such a thing could ever happen.

In many ways this article on the BBC website addresses an issue in respect of the national government that lies at the heart of the multiple 'system failures' in Edinburgh.

For whatever reason, and for brevity we won't go into those here, a vacuum at the heart of decison making seemed to emerge quite early on, perhaps exacerbated by the decision to form an 'arms length' company to manage it all.

When one makes bad decisions then bad things happen

This article on 21st of June (BBC website) headlined Edinburgh trams expected to run at operating loss,  (something which careful readers will recall being for over 3 years by people behind this site)

This article less than a week later (same website) headlined Edinburgh Trams: Tax Break hopes for project.

Nobody at the Council seems at all aware of the mixture of toxic stupidity and thud and blunder crassness involved in one part of the public sector 'hoping' to be able to pay less tax to the ---er....public sector.

It is truly staggering that the fact that the £231Million extra that was

Dispelling the smoke and mirrors-- to get at the facts and figures

Long standing critic of the tram project management and finances John Carson has set out yet more worrying facts in a letter to the Scotsman newspaper today (June 24th 2013) showing how the already enormous financial black hole into which the city has been plunged may not even be the final word.

Mr Carson has not only been a consistent critic of the project but has been proved consistently right.

Years ago when Council officials were parroting 'On Time and on Budget' even as the project was hurtling out of control, he was pointing out that it was impossible to complete, unless huge amounts

Open Data at G8... not in Edinburgh

Suddenly Summer and sunshine is breaking out all over where the Public's right to know is concerned.

Except in Edinburgh.

While the reported potential committment from the G8 countries has yet to materialise, the trailing of it in newspapers like the Telegraph indicate some kind of realisation is dawning that 'their data' IS actually 'our data'- and it's in their interest to wake up and realise this.

Sadly, anyone who has followed the story on this website so far will be familiar with the desperate battle Edinburgh Council have waged for a number of years, firstly to avoid measuring the

Academic view of the problems of proper democratic openess in planning process 


A text document of a very interesting contribution to the debate on where exactly the problem lies....we couldn't agree more!!

The link connects to the original article on the Herald Agenda page to allow anyone who wishes to join in the debate by leaving a comment.

TWO studies, ONE Fib

The NHS Review already a year old, of the issue of deaths from air pollution  (they are not focussing on the illnesses -- for a reference to a more recent study on illnesses caused, and in particular Childhood asthma from this year see here), perhaps the biggest 'lie' that the Council are happy to see broadcast about the tram project is the one that says the rising pollution in the city is 'the traffic's fault'....... AND that ' least, the tram will do something to reduce it."

Alongside the attempt to say it's 'all down to road traffic', is the one that runs: "And at least the Tram is an