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Tue October 20 2020

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More quit Edinburgh Tram project

6 Dec 10 The beleaguered Edinburgh Tram project, already mired by delays and disputes between client and main contractor, has been hit by further resignations on the client side.

According to the Sunday Herald newspaper, project client Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (TIE) has been hit by the resignations of three more senior staff, following the departure of finance and performance director Stewart McGarrity in August and chair David Mackay in November. The latest top names to quit are construction director Graeme Barclay, construction manager Bob Bell and risk manager Mark Hamill.

As previously reported, the £545m scheme was originally scheduled for completion in August 2011, but has been hit by delays and overspend.

Last month the main contractor on the project, Bilfinger Berger, said it was considering legal action against Mackay for “publicly discrediting” the company.

“Bilfinger Berger’s behaviour in the Edinburgh tram project has complied with the contract”, said Bilfinger Berger executive board member Joachim Enenkel. “We have consistently presented the client with constructive proposals to solve his problems. To then be publicly insulted and slandered shows just how out of his depth the now departed client representative was with a project of this size. We see the change of management on the client side as an opportunity to finally move forward with this project in an orderly manner.”

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Mandy Haeburn-Little, director of customer service and communications for Edinburgh Trams, retorted that Bilfinger Berger’s statement was “nothing less than farcical” and was “a deliberate misrepresentation” of the dispute between the two parties.

She said of the contractor: “Here is a company who made a premeditated and very personal attack on David Mackay, relaying this attack widely to press and media and, unbelievably, also writing to many councillors through an open circular. When faced with our robust legal defence, they not only sought to back down, they actively tried to distance themselves from defending their challenge in open court. We are concerned about the gulf between the press statements and the facts as presented by Bilfinger Berger.

Bilfinger Berger was awarded a €190m contract in May 2008 to build the core section of the 18.5km line, including numerous bridges and supporting structures.

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