Edinburgh Trams to Newhaven moves a step closer

The sight of trams running beyond York Place along Leith Walk and to Newhaven has moved a step closer following a vote at a full City of Edinburgh Council meeting this week. However this is just the first step in the plans to extend Edinburgh Trams with another vote due in just three weeks once further information has been obtained over the funding with the SNP still concerned over the robustness of the business case.

At the Council meeting the extension all the way to Newhaven was approved in principle by 44 votes to 11 (despite their concerns the SNP voted in favour for now with only the Conservative councillors voting against) but this is as far as it goes for now.

As reported previously some of the funding of the £162.2 million extension is due to come from dividends from Lothian Buses and this is where much concern has been expressed. The fear from some is that this dividend would adversely affect the bus network – with Unite leading the way with their concerns – and before the plans are progressed too much further a eight Councillor working party has been formed to get answers from Lothian Buses as to whether they can afford the £20 million they are being expected to give towards the tram extension.

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9 Responses to Edinburgh Trams to Newhaven moves a step closer

  1. Christopher Callan says:

    Now if we all listened to the local rags in Scotland would never have got this far. Important step towards delivering the network Edinburgh deserves

  2. John Stewart says:

    I do hope that we don’t see Unite opposing the tramway extension on the grounds that the jobs of bus drivers might be at risk.

    • Christopher Callan says:

      A lot is often made of unions perceived opposition. After Unite allowed vollunteers on Blackpool Tramway to underpin heritage operation hopefully other unions will continue in this vein Thanfully seems more unions are recognising their is a long term benefit to the area which will help members in the long run

  3. So the extension will cost £162.2M but we’re not being told how much the Scottish government at Holyrood is expected to contribute.With recent experience of Airport – York Place construction where the Scottish taxpayer had to pay an extortionate sum of money where many businesses at Shandwick Place foundered, I hope some form of insuance is being arranged in order to compensate Leith Walk traders for lost business that is certain to occur during construction.I’ve commented in these columns before, who’s going to use the tram when there are two excellent Lothian Buses services to the city (22 and 35) just around the corner from Newhaven at Ocean Terminal ?

    • Christopher Callan says:

      Think increasing numbers recognise Edinburgh needs to get back on the proverbial horse and finish what they started armed with the steep learning curve phase 1 handed them.

    • John Stewart says:

      Alasdair always comes up with convincing arguments for never doing anything!

  4. Bill Barlow says:

    Much of the service diverting has been done.The rails and other materials are in storage.
    There are not all the viaducts and elevated sectiions needed on this part of the route.
    The legal power to buid to Newhaven expires 2021.
    Hopefully it will go ahead.

  5. Fred Fitter says:

    As a profession Light Rail engineer, I believe the extension to Leith and Newhaven would be the right way forward, the vote by the city council this week can only be welcomed as the first step forward, there has been a considerable amount of effort and investment already put into the tramway running out to Leith, lets not throw it away.
    By all reports, the present line from the airport to York Place is proving to be very popular, as I am sure any resurrection of the extension to Leith will prove to be similar.
    As a visitor to the city on a number of occasions, I found the bus service from both Leith & the Airport to be excellent, if given the choice between the tram & bus, the tram wins hands down.
    If the decision to go ahead with the extension from York Place and it is eventually is opened, there could be further extensions which would be with the buses & trains be an important part of an integrated Edinburgh Transport System.

  6. IF the scheme does get underway, I hope TFE engineers are able to cure the terrible squealing of wheels on curves on any new line which has been commented upon before in these columns and featured in local papers.

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