Thursday, August 07, 2008

Alex Tram'U-turn'old

Just when the Nats and cybernats thought it was save to venture into Edinburgh without the threat of any more tram works because they're not cost effective, or there's no need for them as buses are better, or an electric train to Glasgow is a better way to spend the money etc. Or simply because Alex Salmond is always right even if every other party was against doing away with the investment. Cue the Jaws theme as today it appears that there is a change of heart and policy.

Maybe Alex Salmond is starting to take heed of Nicol Stephen's words this Spring that the Scottish National Party were weak on the environment, that coal or the road isn't king. However, even the Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson seems a little confused. He says today:
"We are not against trams as such, but the project that was before

"The advice which Edinburgh City Council and Transport Initiatives
Edinburgh (TIE) have made to me, which I can see the logic of, is that when you
have invested in the infrastructure it is cheaper to make extensions."

While his spokeswomen is adamant that:
"The Scottish Government was against the trams project, but we respected the
will of the parliament to allow the scheme to continue."

Just what is going on? Even former SNP Member not Independent Margo MacDonald last year felt the SNP were well suited for Hogwarts house of Slytherin when she said:
"I think somewhere along the line the SNP have mastered the black arts. The
signs were there at the tail-end of the last parliament when, for cheap
political advantage, the trams project was dropped [by the SNP] and the
Edinburgh airport rail link was disparaged.

"At the same time, comment was made about how much needed to be spent
modernising infrastructure north of Perth. It is no coincidence."

Implying that the Nat's transport policy drifts where the votes are. As I pointed out just yesterday it is a art still practised by the First Minister of smarm, trying to please all of the people all of the time is not going to wash forever.


Thanks to this comment from Scottish Unionist I thought I'd better make it clear, rather than assume that every reader knows, that I have been a firm supporter of the tram networks in Edinburgh since the off as a clean, efficient and reliable alternative to road transportation whether car or bus. Looking forward to the current schemes merely being the first stepping stone to a network stretching to other parts of Edinburgh and beyond (there was initial talk of extending it out to West Lothian for example).


Anonymous said...

Quite right, Stephen. But at the same time, I would think this is the best decision for Edinburgh. For example, phase 1b (the £92m Roseburn to Granton Square line) should only actually need about half of that over and above funds already in the kitty. That's a lot of "bang for the buck".

Stephen Glenn said...

Good point i should really have mentioned rather than assumed that everyone would know I was in favour of all the initial options and saw it as a starting point.

I'll add an update accordingly.


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