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Letter to Evening Evening News re. funding for Tram Line 1B

posted 14 Dec 2008, 10:18 by Transform Scotland
Dear Sir,

Any decision to axe tram line 1b to Granton (News, November 20) would surely run counter to the current belief of both the UK and Scottish governments that public works spending is even more essential in times of economic recession.

There's a fixed price for the work - £87m. It has Parliamentary consent. It can proceed seamlessly with the construction work to build tram line 1a. Moreover, running almost entirely off-street, it would entail almost no disruption to life in the city.

The transport minister, Stewart Stevenson, has already recognised the "sense" in building on the current tram project. He's also the man responsible for the difficulties at Gogar where, with the cancellation of the airport rail link, the tram depot now has to also encompass an interchange with both rail and bus on a very constrained site.

It was always a tall order for the city to be able to fund line 1b. Rather the Scottish Government should now step in to ensure that this extension can be contractually committed.

This will stimulate the economy in its time of need and do so at a price much less than will be the case if tendered separately at some future date.

It will also be a hefty shot in the arm for the Waterfront development which, with hopefully an increasing percentage of family housing, is vital to the future ability of Edinburgh to meet the housing needs of its workforce - thus helping to reduce the outflow of workers to homes in the Lothians and Fife with all the attendant transport problems such out of town commuters bring with them and at whom hundreds of millions of pounds of public money has already been directed.
Lawrence Marshall
Capital Rail Action Group