TramForward welcomes decision on Edinburgh tram extension
TramForward welcomes the decision made by Edinburgh City Council on Thursday to go ahead with the extension of the city’s tram line to Leith and Newhaven.
Construction of this line will complete the original proposal for the tram system that was cut short as a result of a budget overspend. There had been calls for the decision to be postponed pending the result of the inquiry into mistakes made in the original scheme, but with the slow progress of the inquiry this would have substantially delayed a transport scheme that will greatly benefit the northern part of the city.
The extension will lengthen the tram line by 2.8 miles (4.6km) at a currently estimated cost of £207m and is expected to be operational in early 2023. A ridership of 16 million passengers is predicted in the first year of operation.
Lessons have been learnt from the mistakes made the first phase of the tram project and construction is to use a “one-dig” approach – closing each work site only once and opening it again only when all works are complete.
LRTA Chair Paul Rowen said: “Since it’s opening, despite the controversy surrounding the cost, the Edinburgh Tram has been spectacularly popular regularly topping the annual Transport Focus Tram survey. The extension will bring substantial economic benefits to the north of the city as well as helping improve air quality.”
- The LRTA (http://www.lrta.org/) is the world’s leading organisation campaigning for better public transport in urban areas through light rail, tramway and metro systems and has been in existence for more than 80 years. It also supports the revitalisation of suburban and rural transport through the application of light rail and TramTrain technology.