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From mad to worse

Edinburgh council 's attempt to win their own city festival's comedy award is picking up pace.

The self satire of the tram joyrides followed quickly by the side splitter dropped into the 2nd last paragraph of this recent story shows the spin-writers haven't lost their sense of humour since last August's critically acclaimed revue led by the now disbanded theatrical group the 'LibDems': ' On time and on Budget'.

This years production also features an entry in the slapstick award, after news that tram wheels, that might have squealed excrutiatingly because the corners into and out of some

BBC podcast on traffic pollution

Traffic pollution kills and makes people ill, in this File on Four programme,  they state it is 2nd only to smoking in terms of health impacts.

This podcast asks " So why are most UK areas in breach of legal limits? And do ministers have any clear plan to reduce the huge annual total of resulting deaths? 

The inertia and failure to recognise the problem deescribed in the programme is bad enough, but in Edinburgh we have a Council not only failiing to get a grip but working methodically  to make the effects of traffic created pollution MORE acute across large areas of the city.

The tram

Legal oversight is a time bomb in Charlotte Square development

Do details matter?

In the rush to consider the Charlotte Square development the Council have omitted to produce a proper traffic and environmental study for the scheme which means the paperwork the Councillors of the Transport, INfrastructure and Environmental Committee will have before them isn't fit for purpose.

The legal requirements of a pre-scheme study have not been met and this leaves the project, upon which work has already been started, with a huge question mark over it.

The project itself is an attempt to restore an iconic Square to it's former glory and in that it is laudable.  

A comparison between our project and Reims

Around the same time as we began our own ill fated light rail project in Edinburgh one was also beginning in the northern french city of  Reims.

It is interesting to compare what are similar projects (click to view) in similar sized urban areas, although Edinburgh is a bit larger than Reims it isn't enormously so.

The Council have made much of the number of cities in the world that have turned to tram systems in recent years to justify their own project and to help to portray doubters as being against the idea of trams in general, rather than this tram project in this city in particular.

Reims and Edinburgh Tram Projects head to head

Comparing two very similar tram projects that began in 2008.. our own Edinburgh one and one in Reims in Northern France.

The things they say....

A record of just one story published in the Scotsman in 2006

The things they said in 2006

It is interesting to see how ready politicans always are to speak about things well into the future, but less keen to look back at what they said in the past.

2010 is no longer 'well into the future' now of course, and in 2006 crictics of the tram project were told, as ever, that 'looking back is pointless' and 'it's time to move on'.  

Unfortunately moving on in 2006 meant moving on towards a catastrophic outcome....  in 2012 'moving on' in terms of the tram project still means hurrying forward to an even greater debacle.

As JM Keynes, much quoted just now, famously said: " When the facts

Predictions from CEC in 2001, 2006 and 2012

Edinburgh Council are always saying the Tram is 'now' on time and within budget---the new budget.

As Dirty Harry didn't say--but quite possibly might have,  had he lived in Edinburgh and worked for the Council's PR department  -- " Do you feel lucky punks?"

Seeing as how the predictions in 2001 and 2006 have proved so woefully wide of the mark in both cost and start date for the project the question we all have to ask ourselves, seeing as how this is one of the most finacially feckless council's in the World---Do we feel lucky?

Luck is probably the only thing that can save us from even more

CEC's Predictions History in 2001, 2006 and 2012

A short history of the financial predictions made by CEC on the Edinburgh Tram Project.