Bonus culture continues for tram workers - but still no trams

Almost £1 million in bonuses has been paid to staff working on Edinburgh's controversial tram project, it emerged yesterday.

Officials at the city council firm charged with masterminding the scheme were given the payments on top of their salaries for more than three years.

Politicians branded the bonuses, paid before a single tram track was laid, a "disgrace".

It is understood bonus payments were made to the vast majority of TIE's 200 workers, and not just senior managers.

The figures, revealed under Freedom of Information legislation, have emerged days after council leaders admitted the proposed route would have to be dramatically scaled back.

Funding problems have led to the shelving of a link between Granton and Roseburn, leaving a swathe of the city's waterfront without a tram link.

Willie Gallagher, the previous boss of tram firm TIE, quit the post months after it emerged he was in line to rake in £340,000 of bonuses if the project was completed on time in 2011.

His successor, Richard Jeffrey, former managing director of Edinburgh Airport, who was appointed earlier this month on a £140,000 basic salary, is understood to be on a similar deal.

The company yesterday defended the bonus payments, insisting they were normal business practice.

Still no tram track – but workers have £1m bonuses paid on time (The Scotsman, 28 April 2009)