‘Forget the trams. It’s not as if we’re short of transport' - Edinburgh reacts to Lothian Buses' 'no guarantee' on £20m tram extension payment

The managing director of Lothian Buses has warned councillors that a £20m payment required to pay for the tram extension is “not guaranteed”.

By jamie mckenzie
Thursday, 15th August 2019, 8:48 am
Lothian Buses can not guarantee 20m for the tram project.
Lothian Buses can not guarantee 20m for the tram project.

Councillors approved the £207m tram extension to Newhaven in March – which is reliant on a £20m extraordinary dividend from Lothian Buses.

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Lothian Buses' £20m tram extension payment 'not guaranteed' says company chief

Mr Hall said recent investment decisions such as rolling out a fleet of controversial 100-seater diesel buses and rolling out the motor coaches arm of the business were necessary to prepare for the future.

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Lothian Buses can not guarantee 20m for the tram project.

Evening News readers have been reacting to Mr Hall's comments.

"And so it starts - oh well, just stick another few million on to the payday loan, taking the daily interest payment (no capital repayment.....) up to £50 grand or so a day. At what point do lenders have to look at the ‘business case’ written for you by the brothers Grimm consultancy and say “Sorry, as a responsible lender, we have to ask if you can support your out of control spending by growing money trees” - John Gailey

"Sounds reasonable. Hall has his own vanity project to fund, in the shape (and weight) of almost unusable super-buses, which may yet be responsible for digging up more of Edinburgh’s roads than the council’s tramlines."

Lucien Romano

"Forget the trams. It’s not as if we’re short of transport, get the housing sorted."

Marylee Watters

"This reminds me of a letter I sent to HMRC last week regarding the 15 cruise liners I am planing to buy for my family to start a business to rip the rich out of their savings with the extortionate prices we are planing to charge them for day return cruises around some islands off the coast of Scotland. In my letter I stated “Dear sir/madam the money you are/have collected from people in Scotland is not enough for my cruise liner business. I expect HMRC to increase the basic rate of income tax to 50% so I can be satisfied my venture into this cruise liner business is guaranteed payments. Thank you, cruise liners plc."

Shah Ram

"Great idea here by the council. Let’s borrow money we can’t afford for a project nobody actually wants, to provide a service that nobody needs or uses. That scheme is the stuff of real true genius! Why not spend £207 million fixing the roads we already have, which in many areas of the city are little better than farm tracks complete with ruts, potholes and other defects which damage the vehicles using them?"

Jon Clark

"If we are being honest, the project will be over budget, £20 million or not."

Billy Laidlaw

"Why should the buses pay for the trams? Putting it simply, I’ve never been on a tram and will never need to."

Susan Andrews

"To be fair, I think Lothian Buses should be spending that £20m on fixing the roads their buses are chewing up."

Kevin Barclay

"I do wonder what goes on in the UK with trams Hoo hah all the time, yet in Australia the Gold Coast line, which started after Edinburgh, has been extended twice. Sydney and Canberra have new lines. Jerusalem has ordered over 100 new trams for a new line. Makes you think - how do they do it?"

William Kay

"Good. Maybe they will scrap it? Or maybe not. They will probably press ahead regardless."

Scott Fraser

"Use the money to buy electric buses!"

Donald Fairnie Cowan

"Good, maybe put a halt to this nonsense!"

Ronnie Wood