The Edinburgh Tram Farce

Well, once again I, a resident of near Glasgow can have a mild chortle about the Edinburgh Tram project. Already suffering difficulties of public disinterest, anger from store owners and ignoring the fact that trams are really an obsolete technology, there have been several new events that will most likely mark this project as a gold standard to measure council waste and corruption.

Digging Up the Road

There were complaints from shop owners along the route that business was being lost due to tram works. Now any engineer will tell you one of the most important factors of working in a densely packed urban area is to minimise disruption. However the group of cowboys who paid the best kickbacks clearly haven’t considered this. There are reports of holes being dug for the moving or underground services, tarmacked over then dug up again in order to lay track (Also a really funny story about a hole in the road getting its 1 year birthday party thrown which ended in a minor scuffle but I digress)

When planning work there are several useful exercises to go through, Charts such as bar charts, activity on the arrow and activity on the node diagrams allow you to make the best use of your time. They show areas where, for example you will have the hole dug anyway. The only way I can envisage this happening is if the guy doing the diagram was slightly worse at it than I am.

Attached to this is the digging up of Princes street, which will see arguably the busiest street in Edinburgh effectively closed for over 9 months, which will include the festival period. Somehow at the planning stage no-one saw this as a problem.

Memorial

One of the mind boggling elements that again brings into question the entire team behind the running of this project was the war memorial outside Haymarket station. People were understandably upset to discover that it was to be removed to run the tramlines through. Understandably because I would assume, quite foolishly in my naivety, that whoever surveyed the route would see a war memorial and work around it, rather than just decide to flatten it.


What I wonder about these things is why no-one brought this up in the planning stage. Why no-one looked at haymarket and said “Where’s the war memorial?” or looked at the schedule and said “You’re not blocking off princes street during the festival are you, oh for how long, nope, work a different way around it,” or indeed “Project not Viable, seek alternatives” Of course, Edinburgh has been setting itself up as having some really stupid transport ideas. The guided bus routes still confuse me, exactly what are they for, as far as I see they provide all the disadvantages of bus travel with all the disadvantages of a railway. In fact my inner cynic makes me think that they were a stopgap for a tram system as a far more useful installation would have been a road with a “No entry except Buses” sign at either end. No special buses, no blocking the thing off if a bus breaks down.

On a positive note, even if the new trams do not cause the traffic chaos that similar systems in Melbourne cause, it may finally put to bed this insane love affair with the tram that runs through planning offices. Negatively, no alternatives, like the Trolley Bus mentioned in older posts, may be considered. I think this may be where my real anger at the project stems from. (My geographical location meaning that the building works and disruption don’t affect me) In effect, I’m annoyed that the problems of installing an unnecessary tram system in Edinburgh, a sure case study of Bent councillors and mysteriously appearing “Save the Tram” campaigns, will mean that the “Not viable” option will be used by councils as an excuse to do nothing, rather than “Seek Alternatives”

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8 Responses to “The Edinburgh Tram Farce”

  1. I don’t have any big feelings one way or the other towards Trams, but I am keen to see how they actually work out in Edinburgh after all the chaos its causing. The fact Princes Street is being closed during the Festival will just make Edinburgh a no-go area as far as I’m concerned. The city’s usually mad enough as it is during it.

    I missed the story about the hole with the 1 year birthday party though. Got a link? That sounds like a laugh 😀

  2. I don’t have any big feelings one way or the other towards Trams, but I am keen to see how they actually work out in Edinburgh after all the chaos its causing. The fact Princes Street is being closed during the Festival will just make Edinburgh a no-go area as far as I’m concerned. The city’s usually mad enough as it is during it.

    I missed the story about the hole with the 1 year birthday party though. Got a link? That sounds like a laugh 😀

  3. Pie Man 70 Says:

    Sadly no, it was at the top of my brother in law’s street. Apparently the contractor wasn’t ahppy and after a scuffle someone ended up in said year old hole.

  4. Pie Man 70 Says:

    Sadly no, it was at the top of my brother in law’s street. Apparently the contractor wasn’t ahppy and after a scuffle someone ended up in said year old hole.

  5. That’s brilliant 😀

    Sadly the main road used to access my estate is being closed for 9 weeks, so I now find myself sympathising with Edinburgh. Wonder if I’m getting a tram as compensation as well?

  6. That’s brilliant 😀

    Sadly the main road used to access my estate is being closed for 9 weeks, so I now find myself sympathising with Edinburgh. Wonder if I’m getting a tram as compensation as well?

  7. Pie Man 70 Says:

    How are you to get in, or have they just suggested you don’t go anywhere for 9 weeks. I’ll try to organise an airlift of food and DVDs

  8. Pie Man 70 Says:

    How are you to get in, or have they just suggested you don’t go anywhere for 9 weeks. I’ll try to organise an airlift of food and DVDs

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