City Council plans for tram extension

Edinburgh city council has made plans for a tram extension between Leith and Newhaven by 2022 if approved.

The extension has been estimated to cost around £165m, with four bidders already shortlisted for the £90m infrastructure.

In an official statement by the council’s transport convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes, expressed her enthusiasm of the interest in reviving the tram line. She said:

“When the Outline Business Case [OBC] was approved by Council in September 2017 we pledged to test the OBC with a robust procurement process before reporting back with the Final Business Case.

“Our project team – the same team who successfully delivered the tram to York Place following mediation – has worked very closely with the market over the past 18 months, developing a contract strategy that meets market expectations and the requirements of the council.

“We were very pleased with the significant level of interest from local, national and international bidders and this process has resulted in a strong shortlist of experienced design and build contractors as we move on to the tender stage.”

An outline of the planned extension

The following are the shortlisted bidders:

  • BAM Colas Rail JV
  • Dragados
  • Farrans Sacyr Neopul JV
  • Sisk Steconfer JV

EN4 News has previously interviewed Professor Chris Oliver about his report detailing the 200 accidents and in one case death of 200 cyclists by trams. Yesterday, a tram collided with a car in Princes Street, highlighting the dangers of the trams. It begs the question if these extensions are indeed what Edinburgh needs or even wants.

In this regard, Macinnes is implementing the first of cyclist traffic lights at 14 junctions. She said:

“With the first phase of cycle safety improvements already in place – and, according to our feedback, well-received by cyclists – and the second phase just weeks away from being implemented, we’re now looking to the public for feedback on our proposed designs for phase three, which we aim to put in place later this year.

“Road safety is absolutely paramount and we’ve been working extremely closely with our partners to refine these designs.”

From Monday the public will be given five weeks to voice their opinions and objections for consultation.

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