By Andrew Gibson
The Edinburgh City Council have explained that the increase in cost of their trams’ project have not been unreasonable. The original budget of £545m has been surpassed and it is now estimated that the project will cost £770m to complete but less, £750m, to cancel. The tram line will run between St Andrew Square and Edinburgh Airport.
Officials have recommended that the project go ahead, despite the glitch. The council will make an official decision with regards to the matter and the change in costs next week. The budget has gone up because of the dispute that occurred between the contractors, Bilfinger Berger and the tram company Tie. It is also behind schedule.
The council leader, Jenny Dawe explained that they now have a better relationship with the consortium and that things should now run smoothly. She went on to say that the council would not need any more money from the government to finish the projects as they will be discussing the option of borrowing the necessary funds needed to complete the job. However, the SNP said that they felt that the decision to go ahead at an increased cost was not acceptable, that the people of the city had already had too much to put up with and that they should not be expected to pay for it. It is felt that the line will be completed in time for the first use in 2014. There have been calls for a public enquiry in to the way that the trams project has been handled.