Espionage on...the Edinburgh transport network


Transport providers in Edinburgh have had to tighten internal security protocols after a spying scandal that has highlighted tensions between the city's bus and tram services.

The Sunday Herald reported that an employee at publicly-owned Lothian Buses took screenshots of emails sent by managers at Edinburgh Trams, triggering two investigations and disciplinary action.

Up to 1,500 screen-grabs are said to have been taken.

Edinburgh's trams and buses provide a 'seamless' transport choice

The two are separate entities, but fall under the banner of Transport for Edinburgh and share back office functions such as IT and human resources.

Although Transport for Edinburgh says its vision is to provide a seamless and high quality transport choice for residents and visitors, the Herald said there have long been rivalries between the two firms, with staff at Lothian Buses fearing that the late and over-budget tram project could suck its revenues away.

The bus company also suffered a long-running boardroom row, which led to an announcement in January 2015 that all four directors would be leaving over two years.

A Lothian Buses spokesperson said: ‘An internal issue was raised over a year ago that was investigated and dealt with fully in line with our HR procedures. As part of this, actions were taken in respect of employee roles and responsibilities, and internal IT security protocol was strengthened in line with industry best practice standards.’

A spokesperson for Edinburgh Trams said: ‘We are satisfied that this issue was fully dealt with at the time and now consider the matter closed.’

Some Edinburgh councillors told the Herald that they had not been told of the scandal but felt they should have been informed.


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