Work cleared to take Edinburgh’s trams to Newhaven

trams to Newhaven,

Construction work for the project to take Edinburgh’s trams to Newhaven is scheduled to begin in mid-November, after six months of work by the council and contractors

The’ Trams to Newhaven’ project team has worked hand in hand with the Infrastructure & Systems Contractor (Sacyr, Farrans, Neopul JV) and Swept Path Contractor (Morrison Utility Services) to finalise the proposals. The teams have carried out thorough ground and site investigation works to determine conditions along the route and have conducted a comprehensive survey of traders’ needs. 

The work in finalising the plans has also demonstrated that the project budget of £207.3m reported in the Final Business Case remains achievable.

Transport convener councillor, Lesley Macinnes, said: “The past six months have been invaluable in allowing the project team to work hand in hand with our contractors to put the designs and construction programme through their paces so that we’re in the best possible position to get started next month.

“Now that we’ve finalised the plans, we’re pressing ahead with getting everything ready to begin the first phase of work in Constitution Street alongside enabling works on Leith Walk. Given Leith is one of Scotland’s richest sites for urban archaeology, particularly Constitution Street, it’s key that we allow ample time for this aspect of work to get under way. 

“Throughout this whole process, we’ve taken a robust, prudent, open and transparent approach, keeping residents and businesses fully informed at every stage and incorporating their feedback directly into the plans so that they are truly community-based.

“The project’s independent adviser praised our plans as the most closely scrutinised he had ever come across in decades of work in the light rail industry, while community council leaders welcomed our work to involve and engage with communities along the route. We’re hugely grateful to everyone for their contributions.”

Depute council leader, Cammy Day, commented: “This thorough, collaborative and open approach is exactly how we mean to go on, striving to keep disruption to a minimum and helping maintain the vibrancy and attractiveness of the area as place to live, visit and shop.

“We’ll be keeping residents and businesses in the loop at every stage of construction, with information provided to those in Constitution Street in the next few weeks on arrangements for waste, buses, loading and parking provision. Full details of a £2.4m Support for Business package will be communicated early in the New Year.

“Taking trams to Newhaven is going to be transformative for Leith, north Edinburgh and the whole of our fast-growing city, opening up new economic, social, housing and development opportunities and connecting thousands more people sustainably to major centres of employment, without putting pressure on existing Council budgets.”

Phased work on trams to Newhaven

Work will begin in two sections of Constitution Street from Monday 18 November 2019:

  1. Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane
  2. North junction of Queen Charlotte Street to Constitution Place.

Traffic management will start on 15 November. Throughout this period, access will be maintained from Laurie Street into Kirkgate and from Mitchell Street into Maritime Lane.

A logistics hub to support Constitution Street businesses will be set up on Mitchell Street so that they can receive and despatch deliveries during the construction works. Help will also be at hand via the logistics hub for residents expecting large deliveries such as appliances or furniture. 

Enabling works are also scheduled to get under way on Leith Walk next month to prepare the access lane for traffic ahead of the main construction work, which begins in spring 2020. This will involve the removal of parking and loading bays on Leith Walk on the city bound side of the road.

Work on the trams to Newhaven has been programmed in the above phases in order to minimise disruption to residents and businesses and to facilitate the delivery of the project.

Passenger services are timetabled to begin in Spring 2023. 


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