Edinburgh tram extension: Trips to Newhaven by next spring? We've heard that one before – John McLellan

Picking my way through the barriers, bollards and road signs at the Foot of Leith Walk on Saturday, I remembered 2017 and promises of trams running to Newhaven in spring 2022.

Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 4:45 pm
The extension of Edinburgh's tram lines to Newhaven is due to be completed by spring next year (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
The extension of Edinburgh's tram lines to Newhaven is due to be completed by spring next year (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

Here we are in August 2022, and being promised that the three-mile-long building site will be carrying passengers in spring next year. At a push, that’s less than 11 months to finish and test the line.

Some weeks ago, I pointed out how promotional drone footage showed how much work was needed and, in a story reminiscent of his great work on the Holyrood parliament fiasco, veteran reporter Ian Swanson revealed the extent of the problems besetting this project.

Like Holyrood and the first tram imbroglio, allegations of delay and substandard work are being dismissed with the customary “nothing to see here”, when even the untrained eye can see how much needs to be done.

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We can forget the hopeless tram inquiry because if it ever appears it will be far too late and might as well go straight to the shredder for all the use it will be.

Maybe it is indeed all fine and, as the city’s new transport convener is a professor of civil engineering, shouldn’t Councillor Scott Arthur get on the hard hat, leave the vested interests of the tram goons behind and go on site to ask direct questions himself?

It’s in his interests, because this time next year when the line isn’t open, his predecessor Lesley Macinnes can just blame it all on him.