I drive in Edinburgh a lot, and like everyone else, I'm fed up with the tram works. Today Edinburgh Trams Board issued this press release:
Edinburgh Trams Board Updates City on negotiations
This update follows a meeting of the Edinburgh Trams Board today.
The Board noted formally its profound disappointment with the lack of progress by the consortium (with the exclusion of CAF the contractor responsible for the manufacture and delivery of the vehicles) against the expected progress.
The Board also expressed deep concern that the latest revised programme provided by the contractor Bilfinger Berger proposes an additional delay to the original programme which would extend this by a further 30 months from now to a completion date of January 2014. This was deemed to be entirely unacceptable by the Board, as was an unqualified increase in cost.
At the meeting, the Board reviewed options in order to achieve the delivery of the trams. The Chairman acknowledged the frustration being experienced by the many stakeholders across the City:
“My concerns and those of my fellow directors are for the people of Edinburgh who have continued to suffer from these seemingly endless delays. I am genuinely not in a position to talk in detail about the confidential aspects of today’s meeting – this is for reasons of commercial sense. However I can say that today we have been presented with a series of options by the management team. We have had a full and constructive discussion around these options and have a clear sense of what we need to do to achieve the best possible outcome. We have also been reassured that the basis on which we intend to move forward is fully justified and that the enhanced rigour requested by the Board earlier this year has been followed to the letter.
At the meeting the Board reviewed our legal and commercial advice and the findings from a set of specially commissioned audits on the consortium’s progress. The meeting addressed the key issues in detail and concluded with an instruction to the management team to continue to apply rigorously the legal terms of the contract to the contractor including and taking into account fully their actions to date. While the board will continue to seek a reasonable negotiated outcome to all matters in dispute, the clients’ rights will be strenuously safeguarded.
Our stakeholders are entirely unified in the resolution to apply the full terms of the contract.
“As soon as there is more to say publicly, we will provide that information. Our priority, and that of our partners, remains the delivery of a 21st Century integrated public transport system, that represents good value and which Scotland’s Capital City deserves. This we will do.”