Proposed Edinburgh tram extension could be open by 2022

A tram on the Edinburgh tram network passing through Prince Street. Credit: Pete Spiro/Shutterstock.
A tram on the Edinburgh tram network passing through Prince Street. Credit: Pete Spiro/Shutterstock.

Edinburgh council is to consider extending the city’s tram network, with the proposed line forecast to be operational by 2022 if it gets the green light.

Under plans, line 1A would be taken from its tram terminus at York Place to Newhaven – as was originally intended – for an estimated cost of £165.2 million.

A report will be compiled outlining the case and seeking approval in principle for the Outline Business Case and authority to enter into a procurement exercise to identify a potential contractor for the work.

This report will be considered by the Transport and Environment Committee on September 4 and then by Council on September 21. A final decision on whether to proceed will be made in autumn 2018.


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Two Edinburgh tramcars at Gyle Centre station to the west of the city. Credit: Cornfield/Shutterstock.
Two Edinburgh tramcars at Gyle Centre station to the west of the city. Credit: Cornfield/Shutterstock.

Edinburgh council said that should the project get approval, construction will take around three years and that passengers could see the service launch in 2022.

Council leader Adam McVey said: “As the fastest growing city in Scotland, and with our existing system nearing capacity, we have to look at ways of enhancing our public transport system.

“The planned tram extension route takes in Scotland’s most densely populated area and, taken with low car ownership, developing high capacity transport to Newhaven would bring a range of local benefits in terms of boosting economic growth, creating jobs, enhancing accessibility, reducing congestion and improving air quality.”

Transport convener councillor Lesley Macinnes added: “The Outline Business Case demonstrates good early performance for the tram, with patronage expected to double in the first year.

“We have the opportunity now to study the numbers in more depth before deciding on whether to progress, taking into account the needs of the city’s tax payers, and ensuring we learn lessons from the past.”

The Scottish capital’s tram network has 16 stations and was launched in May 2014.


Read more: HS2 asked to look again at Birmingham Interchange station plans


 

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