Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Darling in the Dock…..

Trams are a no-show

Alastair Darling, the Scottish no mandate Secretary of State for Transport in England has been taken to court by Merseytravel today. They want to sue him and his department for sabotaging an environmentally sound tram system proposal in Liverpool.

With not much warning, Darling pulled £170 million worth of government funding last November from the ‘MerseyTram’ initiative. Unfortunately, he had previously given the green light to the council to get moving on the project – and promised the grant cash would be available. With this guarantee in their back pocket, the council started spending their part of the deal….. over 50 million quid to be precise.

The council and Merseytravel are left with over 1,000 tonnes of worked track as well as loads of compensation payments.

Merseytravel are demanding to know exactly why the government cash was withdrawn after Darling had guaranteed the funding. If you remember, the same thing happened in Manchester earlier last year, promised government funding suddenly disappearing…..

Merseytravel, if you really want to know why the cash has been filched, well, I hear they’ve got some really superb brand new rail and tram facilities being planned and built north of the border……. Oh, and let’s not forget the proposed vital new rail link to the Olympics village in London……..

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