Scottish Government unable to provide financial support for Edinburgh Trams business case

The proposed Edinburgh Trams extension running from Granton in the north to the Royal Infirmary in the south has hit a snag about the Scottish Government said they would not be able to provide financial support for the business case.

When the plans were confirmed earlier this year, the City of Edinburgh Council had gone with the presumption that the £44 million needed for pre-work such as the business case would come from the Scottish Government who had previously given positive indications they would be willing to support the plan.

However, a letter from Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop seems to have poured cold water on this as it states that in current financial climate it is not affordable and is also not in line with recommendations from the Tram Inquiry. Instead it was suggested alternative models are explored by the Council.

In response to concerns about this apparent lack of funding, Council Transport Convener, Cllr Scott Arthur, said: “I am aware of the letter which was sent to Angus Robertson MSP just two weeks after the Scottish Government dumped its 2030 climate targets. We know that mass rapid transit for Edinburgh is at the core of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Transport Projects Review, and will help us boost the regional economy and cut climate emissions. Within that context, I hope and expect Angus Robertson MSP is using his place in the Cabinet to fight for investment in Edinburgh.

“Since the letter was sent council officers have had constructive discussions with the Scottish Government on how to take foreword the mass rapid transit ambition detailed in their Strategic Transport Projects Review. As part of this process, different funding models are being considered to ensure the best outcome for the regional economy. I hope to be able to bring an update on this work to the Transport and Environment Committee next month.

“Scotland is at a crossroads where it’s response to the climate emergency is concerned, and investing in mass rapid transit in our capital city would be a massive step in the right direction.”

With the news of the Scottish Government position opposing parties on the Council have suggested that the public consultation due to take place this year should be delayed until there is more clarity.

This entry was posted in Edinburgh Trams. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Scottish Government unable to provide financial support for Edinburgh Trams business case

  1. andy says:

    Why can’t the trams function as a commercial business, funded by investors who expect to see a return on their investment from the fares collected?
    If there are no commercial investors then perhaps that should tell you all you need to know about whether the system should be built or not.

    • Geoff Currie says:

      sorry, but public transport in this Country ( and by this Country I refer to the United Kingdom) Needs to be subsidised, road and rail. Personallly I think the answer is free local “Public” Transport paid for from Council Tax!

    • Kev says:

      What a load of rubbish. Of course it would never pay for itself from scratch and it shouldn’t need to – public transport should always have been funded and authority operated. It should not be a profit business.

Comments are closed.