Saturday, May 14, 2011
The question of whether we should spend another £100 million, assuming that is sufficient, to produce a very shortened tramline or to quit when we are £440 million down is becoming urgent.
Some time ago (letter 24th November 2009) you published a letter of mine pointing out that, if prices of our public projects were similar to those in the rest of the world (making a particular comparison with Australian projects) the full original scheme should have cost no more that £105 million. So spending more than that extra to get, if everything goes without hitch, a truncated version is poor value.
Perhaps the best use of the time of politicians and contractors would be spent by them explaining why our government projects cost up to 13 times what they do in the rest of the world, something they sadly did not do after the Parliament building fiasco or in relation to the Forth crossing, when the previous one cost only £320 million in today's money.
If, as I suspect, it is mainly due to government bureaucracy they could then even try reducing it.
I have never heard a reasonable explanation of why trams, which are inherently less flexible than buses and in the case of double deck buses, seat fewer people per square foot, are better at reducing congestion.
You don't have to dig up roads for buses.Previous letter also in the EEN http://news.scotsman.com/opinion/Letters-City-waiting-while-tram.5009013.jp mentioned by me here. Editing slightly toned it down and removed the reference to the Forth Bridge cost which I regret.