Thursday, June 28, 2007

What a Way to (try) and Run a Railroad

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson has said plans to reopen the Waverley line by 2011 were "not achievable" due to a financial shortfall. Now there’s a surprise!

He’s also said that the burden would now fall on Scottish Borders and Midlothian councils to fill the funding gap. Well there’s another surprise. David Parker, the independent leader of Scottish Borders Council has said they had given as much funding to the scheme as it could.

Naturally the LibDems are blowing hard, but their little scheme to get the railway reopened was one of the factors that saw Euan Robson lose his seat to Tory, John Lamont.

John Swinney said “…it is becoming clear that the original cost estimates were overly ambitious - that is a product of the way in which the project has come forward and been managed by the previous administration. What the government has done is reaffirm a financial commitment that was given by the previous government and we have set out what needs to be done to ensure the railway can take its course. According to the Scottish Borders Council if the Executive doesn’t foot the bill it will collapse.
As I’ve posted before, this scheme has been doomed from the start. It’s been poorly managed, ill thought out, improperly costed and its passenger forecasts are hopelessly ambitious.

In my view the reopening of the Waverley Line will never happen. In the process many families have seen their property values plummet, there’s been uncertainty and a great deal of anguish for many people as a result of the numpties in Holyrood and the junior numpties at Newtown St. Boswells (Borders Party excepted).

For more see here and here

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