When the Edinburgh Trams Inquiry was set-up by then First Minister, Alex Salmond, in 2014 it was hoped that it would be a quick and comprehensive report into just what went wrong during the construction of what is now the first phase of the tramway. But now six years later, and despite the last public evidence sessions being two years ago, there has been no report and local media reports in Edinburgh have now revealed that it has cost £11.3 million – with presumably extra costs still to be added, depending on how long it takes for the report to be produced.
A Freedom of Information request was submitted asking for the costs which revealed the large amount which had been spent along with confirmation that there was still no indication of when the final report may be produced.
With the original Edinburgh Trams project going well over budget and taking longer than planned the Public Inquiry was set-up so that lessons could be learned for the future but with the second stage of the tram system now under construction any findings of the Inquiry are unlikely to be able to be put into practice.
A response to the Freedom of Information request stated: “The cost to date of the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry has been £11.3 million. Lord Hardie has not yet announced a date when he intends to publish his report and there is no correspondence with the Cabinet Secretary that I am aware of about that. It has now been 28 months since the Inquiry concluded its evidence sessions. The Scottish Government will continue to consider carefully the need for and benefits of any future public inquiries and expects the written report by the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry to provide valuable lessons for any such future infrastructure projects in line with its terms of reference.”