public inquiry now, please? Reasons why people need to make sure they are heard
If you want to see a public inquiry into the tram project and circumstances that surround it please click the link to connect to an online petition presented by Daniel Donaldson asking for one.
Some people want an inquiry because they want to know exactly what happened in order to learn lessons from it for the future -- After more than £ONE BILLION much of it wasted in barely believable circumstances that is perfectly reasonable
Our group shares that wish, but possibly even more importantly (at least from our perspective), we would like a properly constituted, independent, judge-led public enquiry because we feel it's the last, best chance to get Edinburgh Council to face up to the serious effects from increased congestion, pollution, noise and degradation to the lived environment of their current transport policy, of which the Tram project is the most prominent and egregious example.
These effects are not over now the tram has begun running. Long buried in reports the council know well, stored elsewhere on this site (.just click here to see a key table) show the effects get worse over more than 16 years, they are cumulative and increasing--and no, the situation wouldn't be worse if the tram wasn't here, it would be a lot better---that's the point!
When the facts about the tram** project are known, we believe people will see for themselves how misconceived the project has been, but also how wrong and dangerous the council's current transport policy remains even now.
(How serious? Now the science is constantly improving we are starting to see authoritative science from the government, translating the issue into cold figures in terms of mortality (deaths) and 'lost life years' across the UK each year--Click here to see what it means in our city-- how many deaths a year? 3, 5, 20, 50 even?? You'll be surprised) .
Our council remain in denial, and a state of denial butteresed by cover-up, spin and partiality; preferring their vision of a trophy city centre calmed and quietened for shoppers and tourists to be unsullied by the the real, yet hidden cost to the rest of the city where virtually everyone who lives here spends most of their lives; in and around their homes.
It did not HAVE about an either/or decision about whether the Centre got better and the residential neighbourhoods got worse. The Council made it one--- for who knows what reason? (note: good reason to have a public inquiry?!).
It would be a galactic sized irony if it turns out it was done to save money on the published price tag at the time, given what we DO already have in the public domain( about the mismanagement, bungling, and cover-up-at-all-costs policy on the financial side of things.
Nobody needs to support Mr Donaldson, who is not connected to our group at all, or to support us either, to sign his petition and support a call for a Leveson-style, judge led, inquiry to forensically examine the issue. Just a desire to get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Our problem with the tram project** isn't only what WAS done, and we know something about--it is also what WAS NOT done, and about which we still know little. To have that weighty and authoratative STAG 2003 report flag up 65% well over HALF of ALL homes in the city expected to get MORE air pollution, not less, because of the way the project was conceived, simply HAD to trigger, at the very least, a standard proper Environmental and Health impacts assessment study to quantify the threats--- none was done. Why not???
Tram** project- Our argument is NOT, as the council repeatedly try and pretend it is, with 'trams' as things in themselves, or with trams as an idea. They hide behind the magic label of Trams because they know to most people it translates a friendly 'What's not to like?', then caricature us as Nimbys, car lovers, selfish drivers, anoraky obsessives or whatever, and use that lazy device to divert attention from the facts and issues inside the tin of the project..
The fact is that the problem is NOT trams in general, we know this and the council know this, the problem is with THIS tram, as conceived by THIS Council, in THIS City, we believe a public enquiry would bring the facts of the matter to light and that would be the first desperately needed step in first facing up to them at long last--- So, after too many wasted years already, something constructive can be done about at least trying to make things BETTER rather than continuing to make them WORSE.