Edinburgh tram inquiry makes call for evidence

Lord Hardie
Lord Hardie, chairman of the inquiry

Members of the public have been invited to submit written evidence to the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, especially detailing how they were affected by the protracted development.

The Rt. Honourable the Lord Hardie, chairman of the inquiry, is appealing for details of how people were affected by the failure of the project to be delivered on time, within budget, and to the extent originally projected.

Construction began on the tram project in 2008, but was beset by issues that saw it open last May, three years late and £231 million over budget. The tram route map was also revised.

A non-statutory public inquiry into the project was first announced last June, but the Scottish Government subsequently upgraded it to a statutory inquiry in November 2014.

The call for evidence follows the publishing on the inquiry website of the ‘key issues’ identified as relevant to the work of the inquiry.

Lord Hardie has issued an additional appeal for written details of other key issues around the planning and construction phase that the inquiry should consider.

The detailed list of issues of interest to the inquiry includes the initial project proposal, the procurement process, the design, management, costing, and the assessment of consequences of moving ahead with the project.

Lord Hardie said: “The inquiry is continuing to make good progress in line with the agreed terms of reference and the published order of events.

“Large infrastructure projects such as the Edinburgh Trams project generate vast quantities of documentation. The team has already gathered over 5 million documents, and is using innovative and sophisticated document management technology to assist in the review. By using this technology the time required to examine and analyse the material is being significantly reduced.

“In December last year I announced that at the appropriate time and stage I would make a formal call for evidence from members of the public affected by the delay and by the restricted nature of the project that was ultimately delivered. Today I am making that appeal to the public.

“The Edinburgh Tram Inquiry must base its findings on direct evidence from those affected by the planning and construction phase of the Edinburgh Trams project. Whether a local resident, business, developer or other interested party, this is the public’s opportunity to offer views on the direction of the Inquiry and to provide evidence for consideration.”

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