Edinburgh Trams Inquiry Hearing Begins

The first preliminary hearing of the public inquiry into the Edinburgh Trams project has begun in the capital.

 At today's hearing in Edinburgh, Lord Hardie will announce which parties have been designated as core participants and will provide a brief summary of the work undertaken by the inquiry team so far.

No witnesses will appear and no evidence will be heard today as it is a procedural hearing.

Lord Hardie said the main organisations involved in the Edinburgh Trams project said there could be up to 500 million relevant documents.

He said the inquiry team narrowed the number to six million documents which are now being filtered by a document management system, which he described as a time-consuming yet vital process that cannot be short circuited.

The trams began operating at the end of May last year after six years of disruption and a long-running dispute between Edinburgh City Council and contractors.

The eventual cost of £776 million was more than double the sum earmarked for the project by the previous Labour-led administration.

The inquiry is looking at the project, examining its governance, management and other areas to try to find out why it was delayed, and why it ''cost considerably more than originally budgeted for and delivered significantly less than was projected through reductions in scope'', according to its remit.

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