Princes Street in Edinburgh has been closed and traffic diverted - just in time for the city's new tramway to be derailed by a funding row.
The dispute between project bosses and contractors means that work on the £500 million project has ground to a halt before it even started.
Former Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie said that "not a penny more should be paid to bail out either the city council or the contractors." Now an Edinburgh MSP, he said: "The taxpayer expects contracts signed in good faith to be honoured in full at the agreed price."
Meanwhile, council chiefs have stressed that the city's attractions are still open. Said leader Jenny Dawe: "The city centre's great shopping and attractions are still well and truly open and should not be missed. Princes Street itself is open to pedestrians."
The Princes Street phase of the project is expected to close the world famous thoroughfare for ten months. It had been planned to reopen it for the Edinburgh Festival in August, but retailers are nervous this latest delay will push work beyond Christmas and have lobbied for work to continue throughout the year.
Copyright © Press Association 2009