Turner & Townsend takes over from Transport Initiatives Edinburgh after council reveals cost to taxpayer could top £1bn

Consultant Turner & Townsend has taken over the management of Edinburgh City Council’s £1bn controversial tram project to create a transport link from Edinburgh City airport to Newhaven.

The scheme, which was initially estimated at £545m, has amost doubled in costs since work began in 2007.

The project was managed by Transport Initiatives Edinburgh on behalf of Edinburgh City Council.

The tram network was scheduled for completion earlier this year but construction work was disrupted due to a contractual dispute between TIE and Bilfinger Berger, which left the project significantly over budget.

The council will now have to borrow £231m to complete the tram network, according to a report published last week by the local authority. It also estimated the council will have to pay £15.4m per year in loan repayments over the next 30 years and £228m in interest.

A spokesperson for the City Council said the project will be completed in 2014. The council is expected to publish a new report into how it will fund the £231m that is needed to complete the tram link.