Responding to today’s announcement that Line 1B of the Edinburgh Trams will be delayed, the Scottish Greens accepted that the economic environment has made funding the project harder in the short term.

However, the party also pointed out that delivery of the project was always going be complicated by the very different views on public transport held by the two parties currently running the City of Edinburgh Council, and challenged the inconsistency demonstrated by local opponents of the project.

Robin Harper MSP said:

“The economic crisis has perhaps made it inevitable that line 1b would be put on hold for the present, especially now that development around the project has slowed down. However, it remains very important that the tram line to Granton should be completed ahead of the new homes in the area, so residents get into the habit of using public transport to get into town from the start.

“However, the tram scheme is now being delivered by an awkward coalition of two parties with very different views, facing in opposite directions. It’s no surprise the project isn’t making as much progress as it should have under this push-me-pull-you adminstration, especially with a “tram tsar” who led opposition to trams.

“Some politicians might be chortling with glee, politicians who fail to appreciate that we face a serious traffic congestion problem as well as a serious climate change problem. The public would be forgiven for being confused by MSPs who are happy to appear on climate change platforms and at the same time who are dedicated to opposing a green transport future for Edinburgh.”