Tram bosses left with £1m – 6 months before they go live


TRAM bosses are down to their last £1m – with six months still to go before the project goes live.

A contingency fund of £34m was set aside in case any additional costs arose but critics fear the remaining £1m will not be enough.

Overall costs for the six-year-long project have skyrocketed to £776m after several problems with the lines including cracking concrete and crippling delays.





However, tram chiefs insist that all the groundwork for the eight mile line is now completed and the costs are beginning to fall.

But a Nationalist MSP has said Scots have already learned to take the city council’s cost predictions with a pinch of salt.

MSP Marco Biagi said: “Although it looks like everything is now about finished when it comes to things going wrong with the trams, Edinburgh’s wearied residents have learned to never say never.

“That concern is as valid for the start of a public inquiry as it is for the contingency fund possibly running dry.”

Most of the £33m budget has been spent on utility diversions – moving water pipes and electricity supplies that were found unexpectedly.

Another £16 million is still level of the base budget but all funds have been allocated to the project and will be spent regardless.

But council chiefs, who are powering towards their springtime finish, are unperturbed.

Edinburgh Trams major projects manager, Alan Coyle, said: “I’m confident we’ll still come in within the budget.

“The rate of drawdown has been significantly reduced in the last few months.

“As you can imagine during the period of full construction there was a number of changes that happened during the course of that part of the project.

“The rate of change has slowed to virtually nil. We’re now in a period where it’s about testing and commissioning.”