Parties ‘must come together’ to complete trams

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Those involved in Edinburgh’s trams project must “join together for the sake of the city” and ensure it is delivered, the council’s deputy leader said today.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, SNP group leader on Edinburgh City Council, said after years of disruption it would be a “kick in the teeth” if the tram line was not completed.

He spoke out after another local councillor, Gordon Mackenzie, questioned whether councillors on the board of tram firm Tie had the “right skill mix to properly scrutinise” the troubled project,

However, Mr Cardownie stressed that despite its problems, the trams project has to go forward.

He said today: “We must now deliver this tramway from the airport to St Andrew Square. It’s the least this people of this city deserve after years of disruption and after this money being spent.

“I hope we can all join together for the sake of the city and the sake of this country, and get this tram line into St Andrew Square because anything less than that would be a bigger kick in the teeth for the people of this city.”

Like Mr Mackenzie, the Nationalist said local politicians with no background in such major projects may not be the best people to scrutinise them.

He said: “Perhaps councillors who have not got that kind of expertise are not the best people to oversee projects of this nature.”

But Labour’s Lesley Hinds said she was “quite surprised” by Mr Mackenzie’s comments.

Ms Hinds, Labour’s transport spokeswoman on the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We’ve discussed the trams project on many, many occasions on the council and its the first time I’ve heard him make any comment about himself or councillors not having the skills to sit on this board.”