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Edinburgh tram firm to cut jobs

The company responsible for the capital’s troubled tram project has announced that some of its workers could lose their jobs.

Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (Tie) said it will be talking to its 64 workers about voluntary redundancies.

The company issued a statement insisting it was too early to tell how many staff would be axed.

It said: “We can confirm that in line with the next stage of the revised governance process, a voluntary redundancy scheme has been launched within Tie. This is only the initial pre-consultation phase and as yet, way too early to say how many individuals may be interested, or indeed, considered.

“As is standard process, we will be seeking the views of staff as to whether they wish to be considered for this and we will report back to the council after a period of weeks.”

Edinburgh’s tram works, costing £545M, have been plagued by delays, overspend and a dispute between contractors Bilfinger Berger and Tie.

It is the fourth-largest public capital project in Scotland, after the new Forth bridge, the South Glasgow Hospital and the M74 extension.

The Scottish Government promised to give City of Edinburgh Council £500M to build a tram line from Edinburgh Airport to Newhaven in the north of the city.

However, £440M has already been spent but only around one-third of the required infrastructure has been delivered.

A report on the future of the trams is due at the end of month, which will look into the cost of scrapping the project and the price of taking the tram line just two-thirds of the way, to St Andrew Square in the city centre.

A Tie spokesman said: “There is also work ongoing to establish the future size and reporting mechanism for Tie and how this works more closely with the council. This in turn leads up to a full council discussion of the trams project in the near future.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • This sad, failing project has again cast a shadow over the ability of Local Authorities in Scotland to manage complex construction projects on budget and time.

    It also reflects badly on Scottish Engineers who, in the past, made a significant contribution to the design and construction of similarly complex projects world wide and under adverse conditions many decades ago.

    It is time for this ill fated project to pause for a serious rethink on implementation where heath, due to the forced permanent re routing of traffic with its pollutants through residential streets, as well as finance require an independant public review before going forward.

    Alistair Laing FICE
    Edinburgh EH3 6AW
    13 June 2011.

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