All the hype from Edinburgh City Council about the early arrival of the Edinburgh trams has left traders and residents fearful for the outcome of this dreadful project which has caused so much mayhem for years while incompetent Council officials force through this highly unpopular scheme.
The construction dislocation along the in-city section of the tram line has caused many traders to close with several going bankrupt. The anger and frustration has been evident at the meetings which the City Council has arranged to brief about "progress".
Looking down Shandwick Place at the number of empty shops emphasises the terrible impact the tram project has had on business.
But what is disturbing for residents is that there appears to be no final plan of where the traffic will flow once the tram works are complete. Time and again the Council has been asked to produce a plan showing how traffic will flow once the tram is running but officials do not appear to have thought of this yet!
There is talk of introducing new high tech sensors that will detect pollution and slow down traffic so that pollution levels do not exceed European Union limits, but it appears that these are to be placed in locations totally unaffected by the tram works - clever stuff!
Meanwhile no effort is being made to check on the level of particulate pollution which is much more deadly than other gas pollution. It would seem as though the officials of the Council have no interest in pollution whatsoever, just so long as they can "deliver" the tram project.
When the tram arrives it will bring with it added congestion and disruption. From observation of the narrowing effect of the tram works at the east end of Shandwick Place, it would appear that no vehicles other than the tram will be able to use this route. York Place will continue to be closed effectively to private cars as there will only be room for a bus lane beside the tram. Meanwhile the overhead cables and supporting tram posts all along Princes Street have destroyed one of the most iconic views that the city had to offer.
As for the commercial case and passenger numbers, this is another disaster waiting to happen. What this will do to the finances of the city and to Lothian Buses who will have to subsidise the trams I leave the reader to guess - that is what Council officials have been doing for years!