Trams Inquiry Announced

A judge-led public inquiry into the Edinburgh trams project has been announced by the First Minister.

Trams began running in the city on Saturday after years of delays, spiralling costs and a lengthy dispute between the city council and its contractor.

Overall, the controversial scheme to return trams to the streets of Scotland's capital has seen the construction of a line from Edinburgh Airport to York Place, costing about £776 million.

Repeated calls for a public inquiry have now been answered by the Scottish Government.

Speaking at First Minister's Questions at Holyrood, Mr Salmond said: "We cannot lose sight of the considerable public concern over the conduct of the project, the disruption it has caused to households and businesses in the city of Edinburgh.

"I therefore recommended to the Cabinet, and it has been decided, to establish a judge-led public inquiry into the Edinburgh trams project to establish why the project occurred significant overruns in terms of cost and timing, requiring in particular a considerable reduction in the original scope.

"It is important that there are lessons to be learnt from the conduct of the Edinburgh trams project."

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