Trams to Newhaven construction work to be suspended

Work on constructing the Edinburgh Trams extension to Newhaven is to be suspended this week as part of the continued restrictions in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, has instructed all construction sites to close, unless the project is essential and after discussions it had been decreed that the tram extension does not fall into this category.

The plan now is that contractors Morrison Utility Services (MUS) and Sacyr Farrans Neopul (SFN) will spend the remainder of this week making the sites where work is underway safe before work will be suspended. This includes sites on Leith Walk, Constitution Street, Lindsay Road and Ocean Drive. After this week there will still be contractors on site as necessary for safety and security checks.

Cllr Adam McVey, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The health and wellbeing of workers delivering key infrastructure schemes like Trams to Newhaven – and those who live nearby – is of utmost importance to us, which is why we’ve been working with contractors, to halt work since the Scottish Government guidance was issued. Of course, this will impact on the wider project, but nothing is more important than the public’s safety. We will, of course, be working with contractors to mitigate the impact of these necessary actions and carefully planning our strategy for returning to the site once restrictions are lifted.”

Work will be continuing off-site including design, planning and scheduling. This will include the project team liaising with MUS and SFN to try and mitigate the impact of the work stopping on the wider project – once it is possible to recommence of course.

Traffic management due to be installed on Leith Walk from Saturday 28th March will now be postponed but existing traffic management on Constitution Street, Lindsay Road and Ocean Drive will remain in place.

Before work was suspended this is the view looking south in the direction of the city centre in Constitution Street. The former Corn Exchange is on the left with the junction with Bernard Street/Salamander Street immediately beyond. Constitution Street continues south beyond that junction (the location of the Robert Burns statue currently in store). The building with the pediment in the distance is roughly the location of the future tramstop currently called The Shore. (Photograph by Roy Calderwood, 19th March 2020)

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