The Edinburgh trams project was marred by a “litany of avoidable failures” which wasted public cash and caused years of delays, a probe has found.The long-awaited report by the Edinburgh Trams Inquiry, which began its investigation in 2014, blasted council bosses, Scottish ministers and the company set up to deliver the project.The inquiry was established to find out why the scheme to return trams to the capital blew so drastically over-budget and why they were delivered years later than planned.It found the “best estimate” of how much the original, shortened trams project was a staggering £835.7million - even more than the well over-budget cost of £776million previously touted by Edinburgh council.Retired judge Lord Hardie, who chaired the inquiry, accused Scottish Government chiefs of failing to protect the public purse.He said: "What is clear from the inquiry's work is that there was a litany of avoidable failures on the parts of several parties whose role it was to ensure that public funding was spent effectively and to the benefit of Scotland's taxpayers, and that the Edinburgh Trams Project was delivered efficiently."Poor management and abdication of responsibility on a large scale have had a significant and lasting impact on the lives and livelihoods of Edinburgh residents, and the reputation of the city."The 8.7 mile (14km) route from Edinburgh airport to the city centre opened in 2014, five years later than planned.Lord Hardie also attempted to justify the nine-year wait for his £9million probe to include after launching in June 2014.He said: "The inquiry process has been thorough and robust, but also complex, with literally millions of documents that had to be carefully reviewed and detailed contractual issuesRead more on dailyrecord.co.uk
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