SNP comment on audit of Edinburgh Trams

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP (Lothians)(SNP) has commented on radio news reports relating to the contents of an Audit Scotland report into Edinburgh's trams project due to be released on Thursday.

Audit Scotland are reported to criticise project managers TIE for lacking the necessary personnel to deliver the project, state that the project is significantly behind schedule with only a quarter of infrastructure built and that a poor communications strategy has lead to a loss in public confidence in the project.

Ms Somerville said:

“By the sounds of things, the Audit Scotland Report contains few surprises.  Certainly, I don’t think there is anybody in Edinburgh who isn’t already aware that the trams project is years behind schedule.

"It appears this report also raises concerns over the skills mix at TIE and their ability to progress the project, it is increasingly difficult to see a way out of this mess.

"The mediation which is due to be completed in March is absolutely vital. Only if TIE and the contractors resolve their disputes will we be able to make informed decisions about where we go from here.  If they fail to resolve their differences, I can see this saga being drawn out for years to come.

"In the meantime, there is still no sign of a timetable or final budget for the project and now we here only 26% of the infrastructure has been built.  It’s vital that we have this knowledge, so we can all come to an informed view on how best to fix this mess.

"It’s a horrendous situation for Edinburgh.  Along with my SNP colleagues I will continue to ask the awkward questions of the project that opposition politicians and trams managers would prefer we kept quiet on”.

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