A lack of “political courage” could prevent large-scale infrastructure projects going ahead in the future in Scotland, a leading project manager has said.
Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (TIE) chief executive Richard Jeffrey said MSPs should not be “frightened” to push forward long-term infrastructure problems for fear of what their peers might say.
The remarks are particularly timely considering the £50M overrun that has struck the Edinburgh Tram project, which is currently being overseen by TIE as a dispute continues with one of the project’s main contractors, Bilfinger Berger.
The dispute has angered some MSPs in the city, but Jeffrey said such projects were at risk of becoming “politically untouchable” and exempt from public pressure and political support.
Jeffrey told BBC Scotland: “It’s always easier for people to oppose things than to propose things.
“Proposing and supporting these major long-term infrastructure projects does take political courage. This mentality of opposing things might be politically expedient, but actually it leaves us as a society with a decaying infrastructure and no investment for the future.”
The Scottish Government had opposed the scheme, but lost a vote in Parliament on the issue as opposition parties joined forces to back the project.