TRANSPORT Minister Keith Brown has said that to extend the concessionary travel scheme to the Edinburgh tram project, which is in reality a light railway, would open up many new challenges for concessionary travel, which could not be funded by the Scottish Government in this time of austerity.
He is quite correct. Why should Edinburgh receive special treatment when the Glasgow Underground is excluded? Why should pensioners not be allowed use their concession passes on ScotRail trains, or on the ferries to the Scottish islands?
The country is in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930s, yet Edinburgh City Council expects money to be produced, as if by magic, from some undisclosed source. The business case for the whole Edinburgh trams project was deeply flawed right from the outset and it has been grossly inflated by officials on the city council, who should now be held to account.
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Edinburgh has already been forced to borrow more than £260m simply to complete the unsustainable trams project. Keith Brown is right, now is the time for Edinburgh City Council to face reality and to count the cost of its folly.
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