Comment: We can afford to wait longer for tram answers

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IT should perhaps come as no surprise that the inquiry into Edinburgh’s tram fiasco is taking so long.

After all, building the thing was not exactly a speedy process.

Today, we hear from two of the main players in the construction of the line, former city leader Jenny Dawe and ex-transport leader Gordon Mackenzie who have both yet to be contacted by the inquiry. This, it has been pointed out, is despite the fact the inquiry has officially been running for almost two years.

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Ms Dawe says she is “somewhat surprised” and won’t be the only one.

So should we be worried?

The tram inquiry insists that it is currently taking statements and is dealing with a “significant number” of witnesses. Not all witnesses have yet been contacted we are told.

We can read into this that both Ms Dawe and Mr Mackenzie will be approached for their input at the appropriate time.

The problem, as Ms Dawe points out, is that the longer this goes on, the hazier recollections become and potentially the quality of their evidence diminishes.

Lord Hardie, however, will be well aware of this as he continues on his quest to find answers over why the project ended up costing £776 million.

This inquiry was never going to be a speedy process and it must be given time to put together as full a report as possible by gathering as much evidence as it can.

This is necessarily a meticulous process and there are no short cuts.

Making sense of all that information which has been gathered from so many different sources will take even longer.

We waited five years longer than planned for the tram to be delivered.

We can afford to wait a little longer to find answers to the questions which every Edinburgh taxpayer will have.