£45,000 in expenses paid to tram consultancies
By Amanda MacMillan
MORE than £45,000 in expenses has been payed to consultancies on the troubled Edinburgh Tram’s project.
It has been revealed that Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (TIE), the council-owned firm responsible for the trams, shelled out more than £1000 a month in expenses for the experts.
The consultants who worked on the Bilfinger ‘InfraCo’ contract were given large bonuses and were also paid rent so that they could live near Edinburgh.
TIE has now confirmed that the expenses were part of the deal for consultants on the project.
Strategic Lines, a firm owned by TIE’s former project director Matthew Crosse, received around £17,000 in expenses as part of £370,000 in fees.
Alastair Richards, a consultant who received a £25,000 bonus for his work on the design of the trams, was paid around £18,600 in expenses.
RacReb Consulting Ltd received £405,000 in fees and pocketed around £8,100 in expenses.
And Linkplan Ltd pocketed £124,124 in consultancy fees and also took £2,148 in expenses.
Shirley-Anne Somerville, an SNP candidate in the Lothians, criticised the payments. She said: “The more we find out about this project the more we see how money has been wasted.”
The project has been hampered by delays and a bitter dispute between TIE and German contractor Bilfinger Berger.
Crisis talks were held last month between TIE and the consortium in the luxury Mar Hall Hotel in Bishopton.
But the project remains ground to a halt as TIE and Bilfinger Berger gear up for a second round of mediation talks this month.
And it was reported only last week that up to ten of Edinburgh’s redundant trams could be leased to Croydon.
The city council is bidding for the contract with Transport for London, which runs the Croydon Tramlink, in the hope of raising some much-needed cash.
If successful, the trams will have to be modified to run on Croydon lines, then re-modified if they return to the Capital.
A spokesman for TIE declined to comment.
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