I think the whole project will develop, come time. And the issue of potholes and road maintenance, which is a a serious one across the whole country, is frankly a red herring, and nothing to do with transport infrastructure spending in the short term. We must build for a future that reduces vehicle pressure on our roads. Am I not right in thinking that Edinburgh rejected a London=style congestion charge beforen the trams were proposed? People really can't expect to have their cake and eat it. I think this has been a brave move by the city, of course there are losers and people are upset - but in the end Scotland will have a capital city which continues to match the best in Europe. Sorry for the rant, but I think the tram project will be seen in time to be a great asset to the city.
PS The last time I looked the tramlines were running north of St Andrew Square and down towards Leith Walk, so there is definitely a commitment there!
I do take your point about the trams, and yes you're right about the congestion charge, but I think it's going to take an awful lot for most of the locals to be convinced now that a tram system is the way forward for the city, given the total shambles and escalating costs which have accompanied this project until now.
What about Princes Street having to be closed twice for 10 months so's it could be dug up again and the surface properly relaid thanks to the contractors doing a poor job on it the first time? And all those little shops down Leith Walk which went out of business because they lost custom whilst the entire length of the Walk was being dug up for what turned out to be a useless exercise and for which I understand that they got not one penny in compensation? Not exactly confidence inspiring!
Also the lines may be running towards Leith Walk but that's because the planned terminus will be in York Place and not St Andrew Square as I erroneously said in my earlier post. In fact I've just checked the Council's website and there are no current plans to extend the system beyond that point - http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20237/local_tram_updates
The bottom line here is that there simply isn't the money to do so, and the SNP government have made it plain that there won't be any more forthcoming either because the SNP were against the scheme in the first place, but as they were then in opposition they could do nothing to stop it, and were only a minority government when the 'point of no return' was reached, i.e. when Parliament had to decide which was going to be the least costly - continuing with the project as far as was possible (which was originally Waverley but which later got changed to York Place for reasons of practicality), or to let it drop completely.