Letters to Editor: Tram probe needs to answer hard question

Edinburgh trams. Picture; Lesley Martin

Edinburgh trams. Picture; Lesley Martin

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I don’t think the tram probe goes far enough.

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The question we need answers to goes to the very start - who decided we needed trams; who decided to ignore public opinion and go ahead with the project anyway; who, when they saw the costs were going to escalate, decided against public opinion again to proceed no matter what the final cost was?

My understanding of a tendering process is you ask firms to tender for the work, you supply them with details of what you want and ask them to submit plans and costings. You select the one that best meets your needs, once a tender has been accepted there are usually penalty clauses included.

We need to see that paperwork investigated and need answers to how this normal business practice was not carried out. After all, it is not fair on the companies that tendered for the work which were ruled out.

We need to know why no one has been taken to task for the excess cost of the project and why no penalty clauses were brought to bear on the overspend.

Finally we need to make sure that the trams go no further until public opinion is heard and acted on; that there are robust clauses in place to ensure no overspend; also that there is clarity as to where the money for the extra lines is coming from; and that we must have assurances that our everyday services and our great bus service are not being used to fund the cost.

Mr Raymond Ross, Edinburgh