Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Thursday, 13 November 2008

Tram leader quits after two years

Willie Gallagher, Tie chief executive
Willie Gallagher has resigned from his post as chief executive of Tie

The boss of Edinburgh's tram project has resigned citing family reasons for leaving.

Willie Gallagher, who has been in charge of the 512m project for two years, is to step down as Tie executive chairman at the end of the month.

Last month senior councillors demanded his resignation after the tram works brought the centre of the city to a standstill.

Edinburgh Council said he was crucial in bringing the project to life.

Mr Gallagher, said: "I am very proud to have created a very strong team of engineering and construction professionals. They are more than equipped to deliver world-class trams for the people of Edinburgh and I look forward to seeing them run in 2011."

Jenny Dawe, Edinburgh City Council leader, said a report outlining interim governance and management arrangements would be presented at the full council meeting on Thursday 20 November.

I am confident that we have a solid team going forward to deliver a world-class transport network for the city, many of whom have worked on other tram schemes and major construction projects
Jenny Dawe
Edinburgh City Council

She said: "Willie has been crucial in bringing the tram project to life. He always impressed those he met with his skills and enthusiasm, and I am very disappointed to lose him at this point. However, I fully understand his reasons for leaving, given his personal circumstances, and support his decision.

"I am confident that we have a solid team going forward to deliver a world-class transport network for the city, many of whom have worked on other tram schemes and major construction projects."

Tom Aitchison, Edinburgh Council chief executive, said: "Edinburgh's trams would not have come this far without the skills and energy of Willie, and I thank him for his leadership and drive.

"Willie has created a high calibre team, who will ably ensure the construction process continues to runs smoothly and successfully. I am confident that Willie's legacy will be an organisation and staff who operate at the highest standards."

David Mackay, chairman of Transport Edinburgh Limited, said: "Willie's leadership has seen the project move from a plan to becoming reality. He has guided Tie and Edinburgh trams through this complex and difficult stage and leaves Edinburgh on the cusp of a world-class public transport network. We would like to thank him for his dedication and professionalism and wish him well in the future."

Last month Neil Renilson, 52, announced he was taking early retirement as chief executive of Lothian Buses and as chairman for tram operators Transport Edinburgh Limited.



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