Edinburgh tram extension: Source alleging big problems must be treated well by council if they come forward– Steve Cardownie

The speculation that the tram extension to Newhaven is beset with problems will not be welcomed by council leader Cammy Day, who must have hoped that the project was progressing smoothly as, after all, he has enough on his plate already without another headache.

Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 12:30 pm
According to a council source, Edinburgh's tram extension could become 'another fiasco' like the original scheme
According to a council source, Edinburgh's tram extension could become 'another fiasco' like the original scheme

According to a “council source”, the quality of work on the extension is “appalling” and the project risks becoming “another fiasco” just like the original tram scheme.

Badly cracked concrete, collapsed manholes and drains blocked by concrete are just a small example of the items that populate a 200-strong list of snagging defects, according to the source.

Just as concerning, the source goes on to maintain that experienced council staff were being deliberately kept off the project and there was “no proper supervision”.

This can be easily checked out as a couple of simple enquiries of the “experienced council staff” will verify whether they have been marginalised or not and if they have it is easily rectified.

Although the source seems well versed in engineering matters, the city’s transport convener, Councillor Scott Arthur, would appear to be unfazed by the alleged wrongdoings, taking to this paper to point out that “in terms of the project’s management, there is a robust governance process in place”. “In addition, engineers from all relevant parts of the council are already heavily involved in delivering this project through the technical working group,” he said.

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Edinburgh tram extension 'at risk of becoming another fiasco' says council sourc...

As a sign that he, as a new convener, has cottoned on to the workings of officialdom within the council, he has adopted a belt-and-braces approach and wisely concluded: “Of course, I would encourage this individual and anyone else with concerns, to report these to the project via the established channels or to myself directly (my emphasis).”

If his offer is taken up, it could lead to some new light being shed on this project and, hopefully, he will know if and when to step in and get matters back on track.

He must assure all staff that, if they so wish, their identity will not be disclosed. After all, the council has form in this regard.