Over the past few weeks we have seen the first tracks being laid on the Trams to Newhaven project ahead of the first trams running in 2023 and it has now been confirmed that the revised Final Business Case (which takes into account the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic) has been approved by Councillors which means its full steam ahead for the project! To mark the joint occasion Council leaders recently visited the site for an excellent PR opportunity to show how the project is progressing despite some delays caused by the pandemic.
Cllr Adam McVey, City of Edinburgh Council leader, was one to visit the site: “It’s fantastic to see tracks in the ground in Leith – it’s a real milestone for this major project. We’re already beginning to see the route take shape and get an idea of just what a positive impact it will have on the local community. It’s particularly encouraging to know that the economic and business cases for Trams to Newhaven remain sound, despite the challenges of this year. Now we can progress with this exciting stage of the scheme safe in the knowledge that it will deliver the maximum benefits for local residents and the city as a whole.”
The 2.91 mile line will see the Edinburgh Trams system extended from the current York Place terminus (which itself will be closed and replaced by a new stop in Picardy Place) to Newhaven taking in Leith Walk and Ocean Terminal. It is due to open in Spring 2023 as the latest reports suggest it remains on target for this.
Other recent updates from the project have included news that drainage and ducting works are continuing between Newhaven and Melrose Drive. This work will enable the lowering of Lindsay Road to allow the new tram route and road interface to be linked including the new link road down to Melrose Drive. Meanwhile, the excavations next to South Leith Parish Church graveyard are approaching a conclusion but they are still finding exciting new discoveries – including two large ditches. While ditches may not seem exciting on the surface of it, one of them has an unusual crouched burial half way down and is proving a mystery as to their purpose. Around 340 human remains have now been found.