The chair of the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, The Rt Hon The Lord Hardie, has announced that oral hearings will begin on Tuesday 5 September 2017.
It is anticipated that these hearings will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week until all evidence is heard. The taking of oral evidence is likely to last for several months.
Oral evidence will be given at the hearings by a number of specified witnesses who will be cited to appear. The Inquiry’s Core Participants may undertake limited cross examination of these witnesses, with the consent of Lord Hardie.
The oral evidence given at the hearings will supplement written statements from witnesses and documents recovered during the course of investigations by the Inquiry Team into why the Edinburgh Trams project incurred delays, cost more than originally budgeted and delivered significantly less than planned.
Oral hearings will take place at the Inquiry’s offices at Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG. Details of the first witnesses to appear will be released in due course.
Lord Hardie said: “Today’s announcement marks a milestone in the Inquiry’s on-going progress. The oral hearings form an essential part of the important work of the Inquiry and the evidence heard will play a crucial role in informing my final recommendations.
In advance of these hearings, a significant amount of activity has already taken place including identifying, retrieving and reviewing more than six million documents and the on-going gathering of statements from a significant number of witnesses.
The hearings are just one of a number of steps the Inquiry is taking to provide robust recommendations to ensure future major tram and light rail infrastructure projects of a similar nature to the Edinburgh Trams avoid the problems this project experienced.”
Oral hearings will be open to members of the public and interested organisations but seating capacity is limited to 50 for health and safety reasons. As a result access will be granted on a first come, first served basis. Further information about public access will be made available in advance of the first hearing.