Putting it Right -- step one
Having missed a number of opportunities to put it right it is now increasingly difficult to see what options the council have left.
In 2011 both Labour and Conservative's recognised that by stopping at Haymarket all bad pollution effects are totally eliminated, the scheme becomes an unconditionally good, 'green project'.
This important aspect of the choice between 'Haymarket' and 'St Andrews Square' was lost in the political spin put out by the administration and the vote to 'Pause'--not stop---at Haymarket was presented as vaccillation amongst councillors. Shortly after the second vote reversed this sensible decision.
The good work of a sensible vote was undone by political calculations not only within the administration but forced from without by the Scottish Government minister's intervention that the tram must go to St Andrews Square; reinforced with threats to prevent the final £70 Million of so being paid, thus presenting the city with the propsect of instant financial meltdown---in effect the Scottish Government blackmailed the city to force it to overturn the sensible decison of the City Council, something recognised as addressing real fears even within the same party,.and replace it with a dceison approved in Holyrood.
The underlying figures in the Council officer's report about the comparison in costs between options,potential operating losses and expected passenger numbers, began unravelling immediately, our figures on the contrary , on the good benefits of pausing at Haymarket and the bad figures of continuing in terms of potential health and pollution impacts have not unravelled, indeed the latest reports show just how badly the council's figures are disintegrating.
From an operating 'plus' rising to £2.5M a year projected in 2011, this March it was revealed that the first five years would see accumulated operating losses of £15M and just this month the prediction worsened to a £3M loss a year for 15 years!!
Adding to the £231M unexpectedly needed to even get the short line built (and with borrowing costs that takes the oft quoted £776M total cost to well over £ 1Biliion...and that's why Edinburgh Council Are in crisis mode, still whistling in the dark, still trying to find ways to bury the facts rather than face them...until they do nothing will change because nothing can change.