Cameron Buchanan: Don’t waste more money on trams

The tram line could still be extended to Leith. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The tram line could still be extended to Leith. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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It may have taken years longer than planned, and come in hundreds of millions over budget, but the trams are now up and running.

People in Edinburgh just want to get on and forget about it.

What use is an inquiry now when the public is just about getting round to accepting this controversial project?

It will only serve to shift the blame onto others.

The whole fiasco was subjected to a thorough probe almost every day it ran behind schedule, and with every extra millionth pound squandered. The Evening News very much led these investigations, and that will have rendered more answers than any formal process is likely to.

Why keep flogging this horse for another two years? Now that they’re here, let’s make them a success.

That’s the attitude of residents, who have had to endure the brunt of this ridiculously-run regime.

I suspect the people who are to blame for this – some of whom have bizarrely been taking credit for the scheme recently – know who they are.

Many others who would be named and shamed have long since left their jobs.

Public inquiries can potentially cost millions of pounds. One scheduled to last two years would really hit the taxpayer who has already had to overspend significantly.

That money would be better spent extending the line down to Leith.

It’s no use bemoaning the trams when we could be capitalising on them.

The disaster of launching the project shouldn’t necessarily put us off from wanting to extend it.

Businesses and residents in Leith already endured many of the works necessary for the line to be put down, so perhaps it’s time we helped deliver to them the benefit of the full system.

Everyone knows what a sham the whole thing has been, what exactly is a full public inquiry now going to uncover?

Public inquiries should be set aside for more sensitive issues like the Mortonhall baby ashes scandal.

These are scenarios where people have been hurt, upset, bereaved, and where their grief will be eased by receiving answers on what happened.

None of this would apply to an inquiry into the trams.

Some will say public inquiries help with “learning lessons”, but if that was the case, we could have learned some lessons from the swollen project to build the Scottish Parliament years before.

That very obviously didn’t happen with the Edinburgh trams.

• Cameron Buchanan is Conservative MSP for Lothian