Something a bit different – Trams return to Edinburgh

Trams in St Andrew Square Edinburgh
If you think that canvassing on behalf of the Coalition Government is hard, you should have tried canvassing in Edinburgh during the 2012 Council elections. The Liberal Democrat/SNP administration which came in in 2007 actually did, eventually, sort the contract problems and ensured that today could take place. However, in 2012, voters had had enough of spiralling costs,  roadworks and changes of plan.

The line that opened today is a mere fraction of what was originally planned. A link between the airport and the trendy port of Leith would have been amazing, but it wasn’t to be. Despite the track being laid for part of it.

It was a huge shame that the trams issue came to define our time in administration in Edinburgh where we made massive improvements to social care and built Edinburgh’s first council houses in a generation.

Many local citizens and businesses feel that the enormous three quarters of a billion price tag would have been better spent on schools, roads and housing.

I decided to check out the new route this morning. In the sweltering heat, getting inside a metal tube was such a good idea. Here’s how I got on.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • I have a romantic attachment to trams, but they are a nightmare in terms of infrastructure cost over-runs and bringing in revenue through the farebox. I’m massively for improving local transport in big cities outside London, but I’m not sure if trams are the most cost-effective way to do it.

  • Richard Dean 31st May '14 - 8:31pm

    It looks more like a train than a tram! Nice views though. Wish I was there!

  • Beat you, Caron!
    I was on the tram from Haymarket to St Andrews Square about 9.15 a.m.

  • Manchester has had a modern tram system for some years now.

    It is just a shame that there are no LibDem councillors left to ride on the trams after last Thursday.

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