At the time that Edinburgh’s light rail scheme is fighting for survival, a new section of the M74 motorway in Glasgow is opened. The former is over budget and will be stopped short of its original route at a cost of £770m, but will be a substantial length of line nonetheless. The latter is only five miles long but cost £693m and has caused little controversy over its huge cost. I wonder which will ultimately deliver more value to Scotland? I suspect the new M74 extension will be needing major repairs costing millions in a few years time, in common with most major road schemes. Meanwhile, as has been demonstrated in cities around the world, including one of my favourites, Seattle, the cost of Edinburgh Tram will be long forgotten once the dust has settled and people discover its value. I wonder how long it will be before new routes are being demanded? An enquiry into the handling of the project is rightly needed, but one should also question the cost of the 5 miles or so of M74. Is that really value for money?
In the meantime, I question the SMP’s so-called green credentials when expensive and unsustainable motorway building continues but light rail is opposed by SNP MSPs. Forget renewable energy plans when its transport policy is unsustainable.