Myth Busting

Trams have rightly been labelled a fiasco in Edinburgh.  The process of resolving the many issues surrounding the project to restore trams to the capital will need an inquiry, which I have called for, and a level-headed non-party political approach.


Trams, when delivered properly, are a popular, fast and efficient mode of transport.  We need look no further than Dublin, Manchester or Oslo for evidence of that.  The support for trams amongst Labour, Lib Dem and Conservative politicians is well documented, however, less well documented is the understandable enthusiasm which prominent nationalists also showed when the project was born.  This enthusiasm has been conveniently overlooked and forgotten over the years as party-political snipes took over to gain a perceived short term advantage at the expense of the long term reputation and success of Edinburgh. 


So here, we bust tram myth #1, that the SNP are anti-trams.


Here is an editorial written in December 1999 by Kenny Macaskill MSP for the website

Kenny Macaskill Editorial Pro Trams


Secondly, here is a quote from then SNP leader, now Government Finance Secretary John Swinney, to the Edinburgh Evening News on 3/4/2003:


“The measures that are coming forward - the tramlines, the link to the airport, the expansion in capacity at Waverley Station - are all welcome developments, but they have been a long time in the coming and a long time in the talking about.”

He adds: “Thinking about public transport improvements in Edinburgh over the last six years, I might manage to come up with a station or two. I can’t really think of anything other than that which will have transformed the public transport of this city and its surrounding area.

“We have got to intensify the pace of undertaking these developments. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the new Waverley Station was just around the corner, the new Edinburgh airport rail link is just round the corner. People are fed up with these promises always being round the corner. They just want to see some diggers constructing these things.”


This quote given to the Edinburgh Evening News stands in stark contrast to his interview given to the BBC’s David Miller in The Great Tram Disaster, which aired on 11th October 2011, in which he stated “We didn’t think that the Edinburgh Tram Project represented the best use of £500m of public money…we generally felt that the public transport connections were of a pretty high quality.”.


All political parties represented on Edinburgh City Council signed the contract for the trams.  This includes the SNP.


So there we have it, in spite of what is most convenient for party politics, the SNP have not always been anti-tram.

Sign up for updates from Kezia
"Kezia Dugdale has taken a real lead on the issue of fair internships. Unlike other politicians who talk a good game, we are delighted that Kezia is putting her words about internships into action. By paying interns the Living Wage, having a transparent recruitment process and offering a variet of interesting work, we are confident interns will get a great experience – and Kezia will get great interns! "

Ben Lyons - Co-Director of Intern Aware

Twitter Feed
House Rules
This site is slowly in transition from a blog to a website which will cover my work as an MSP for the Lothians region. In that sense, I will no longer be allowing comments on my post. If you want to engage in a debate or pass comment, email me. Although I reserve the right not to engage with comments which I deem to be offensive or inappropriate.