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15.10.12

Borders could be a re-run of Edinburgh tram debacle – MSP

The Borders railway could end up being a repeat experience of the Edinburgh tram debacle, a MSP has suggested, since the project is suffering from extended delays and escalating costs.

Figures released under a Freedom of Information request show that competition has been delayed by a year to 2015 and the cost of the project is now almost double the original budget of £115m.

So far, £54m has been spent without any track being laid.

John Lamont, Tory MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire and the party's chief whip, told the Herald Scotland: “People are asking serious questions of the Borders Railway, and of the Scottish Government's handling of it, and quite rightly so. I think it has the potential to be another repeat of the trams debacle unless someone gets a grip soon.”

But a spokesman for Transport Scotland, the national transport agency, said: “The costs incurred are essential to delivering Borders Railway and have enabled the land on which it will be built to be purchased, design scoping work to be done, and the advance work to prepare for the start of construction to be undertaken.

“These costs would have been incurred no matter the undertaker, and the work associated will transfer to Network Rail, putting them at an advantage by allowing them to concentrate on the construction of the railway.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Nonsuchmike   15/10/2012 at 20:18

Good. Well, get on with it then, and stop arguing. I was very disappointed to see no completion of the Edinburgh tramway when my wife and I visited the Fringe this August to celebrate our 40th wedding Anniversary.

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