New Edinburgh tram line on track to open in spring 2023, council says

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The new Edinburgh tram line extension is still on track to open in spring 2023 despite the completion dates for some sections being pushed back, the city’s transport leader has insisted.

More than 1.8 miles of track, about 70% of the total which needs to be laid for the ‘trams to Newhaven’ extension, is now in the ground.

Edinburgh City Council says the project to extend the line into the north of the city to Newhaven is within its £207 million budget.

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Construction work on three of the eight new stops has been completed, though sections of the line on Constitution Street and near Ocean Terminal are not yet finished.

An artistic impression of the new tram line passing through Elm Row in Edinburgh.An artistic impression of the new tram line passing through Elm Row in Edinburgh.
An artistic impression of the new tram line passing through Elm Row in Edinburgh.

Areas affected by the construction delays include Ocean Terminal and the section between Newhaven and Melrose Drive.

The completion dates for these areas have been pushed back to May and June respectively, having previously been expected to be finished in winter 2021/22.

This is due to the “complexity of utility diversions” and the need to resolve defects, the council said.

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Edinburgh City Council’s transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “It’s clear that the Trams to Newhaven project is well on its way to completion, as these figures show, and before long we’ll be testing trams on the streets of Leith.

“As we enter the final year of work to deliver the tram line, we’ve had to make some changes to the programme due to issues outwith our control.

“I want to assure communities along the route that we’re doing everything we can to mitigate the impacts of this, and that we’re still on track to begin providing the service by spring next year.”

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