Page last updated at 18:59 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Council hits out at tram rumours

Constitution Street
The tram network is expected to be operational by 2011

Edinburgh's city council leader has hit out at rumours the spur line from the main tram route is to be shelved, saying it is just "idle speculation".

Jenny Dawe said no decision over line 1b, which is planned to go from the city's West End to Granton, had to be taken until July 2009.

It follows Shirley-Anne Somerville, MSP for the Lothians, issuing a statement on reports the line was being shelved.

Her researcher has since admitted to BBC Scotland they had no verification.

Non-profit making organisation Tie is managing the tram project.

Ms Dawe, a Liberal Democrat councillor, said: "There is no announcement being made by Tie or the council on tram line 1b.

"There is no point in speculating on rumour or innuendo. No decision regarding 1b requires to be taken until well into 2009.

"A working group is currently exploring the capital costs and funding options for delivering line 1b.

"The tram project continues to progress as planned. Our ambition remains to have a fully integrated transport system operational in Edinburgh in 2011."

'Sheer lunacy'

Ms Somerville, an SNP MSP, issued the following statement: "Residents of the city of Edinburgh will breathe a sigh of relief to hear that common sense has finally prevailed.

"Pressing ahead with another line was sheer lunacy and I am delighted that Tie finally agree with what the SNP have been saying all along."

"There was never going to be enough money to complete the Line 1a, never mind develop other routes.

"This project will go down as one very expensive unfinished white elephant in our capital city.

"What a shame the other parties saw fit to spend money on this rather than a public transport system which could have benefited the whole of Edinburgh."

A Scottish Government spokesman said they had not heard anything about plans to scrap proposals for the tram spur.

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