Council backs tram mediation plan

Image caption,
Edinburgh's tram project had been expected to cost the city £545m

Edinburgh City Council is to lead a last ditch attempt to broker a peace deal between the capital's tram line's construction firm and its contractors.

The two sides have been at loggerheads in a dispute which has brought work on the project to a standstill.

It follows a meeting where councillors walked out in protest over the method used to appoint a new chairman of tram company, Tie.

The tram line project is due to be completed in 2013.

Jenny Dawe, Edinburgh City Council leader, said: "We want to end this dispute and get on with building a tram line for Edinburgh.

"Tie has kept councillors and officials informed of their strategy throughout this process and we have supported their position.

"However, as recommendations are being prepared for council to bring matters to a conclusion, it is appropriate for the chief executive to engage with the contractor in a final attempt to secure the best deal for the city."

Richard Jeffrey, chief executive of Edinburgh Trams, said: "We are working hard to bring the differences to a conclusion and have kept the council fully appraised of the issues and how we are dealing with them.

"With the endorsement of our board we have invited the BSC consortium to explore mediation to reach a conclusive and decisive solution.

"We are now in a critical stage for making a decision to move forward and we are in full agreement with the council on the steps being taken to find a resolution."

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