Friday, 18 June 2010

Trams - Updated position and costings

Today an update report has been published by the Council. The tram project is currently mired in a contractual dispute with the contractor, Bilfinger Siemens CAF (BSG).

Here are the highlights followed by the figures:
  • Underground gas water and other utilities have been moved (and in many cases renewed) making them much more accessible. The expected 27,000m of cables and pipes is now estimated at 50,000 and the extra work has resulted in a net cost overrun on this part of the project of 10%. The work is around 96% complete.
  • Disputes mainly concerning the infrastructure work, largely undertaken by the Bilfinger part of the consortium, have accompanied a severe slowing of the project.
  • Orignally due to open for service in July 2011, the estimated opening date is now dependent on a resolution of the disputes with BSC.
  • In the light of the lack of progress on the delivery of the principal engineering works, one of the options now being explored is termination of the contract with BSC.
  • The trams vehicles are on schedule and budget with one on display in Princes Street


  • The approved funding stands at £545 of which £500 was committed by the Scottish Parliament. This originally included line 1b (the Roseburn to Granton extension) which has now been postponed.
  • Current spend amounts to £348m. The report to council states '. . . it is prudent to plan for a contingency of 10% above the approved funding of £545m.' In other words the total could reach £600m. The Council is responsible for finding any amount above the £500m.
  • £16.4m has been raised so far and contingency plans are being explored to bridge the remaining gap.

As the report states, '. . . the current position remains highly unsatisfactory'. The dispute resolution is key to getting the project back moving. Termination of the agreement is being considered.

The BBC report is here and the report to council can be seen here.

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