The Transport Minister on the Scottish Government, Derek Mackay, has stated that the SNP administration currently in charge may back new tram schemes north of the border as long as they fit in with other public transport. Although this is potentially good news for trams in Scotland in the same interview with a Sunday newspaper he said that the current tramway in Edinburgh would unlikely to receive any support from Holyrood.
Mr Mackay was quoted in Scotland on Sunday as saying: “We are not anti-tram. If it fits in with public transport networks, we would support it.” And let’s be honest any sensible tram network does need to fit in with other modes of transport to provide an integrated transport network. Plans currently being discussed in Scotland include a link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre (although this would be a tram-train as opposed to straight trams). Outside of this there were plans dismissed in Aberdeen but these latest comments by Mr McKay do throw open hopes for other lines to be developed in some of the larger cities.
The Scottish government gave £500 million towards the Edinburgh Tram Project and at the time said they would not release any further funds but it had been hoped that the success of the line between York Place and Edinburgh Airport may lead to further cash to be released for extensions. But these hopes have seemingly been dashed with Mr Mackay reiterating the SNP’s “no more” stance. This news was did not prove popular in Edinburgh but it does seem that if the City of Edinburgh Council are to extend the line to Leith they will have to find the cash themselves.