Milestone for £207m project
First tram track in Leith as extension confirmed
First tram lines at Ocean Terminal
Another milestone has been passed for Edinburgh’s tram extension with the first stretch of track being laid in Leith.
Contractors have begun constructing the 2.91 mile line and are currently working on the sections next to Ocean Terminal and in Tower Street.
Progress on the construction work emerged as councillors approved continuation of the line following an updated Final Business Case (FBC) report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the project.
The report includes a series of scenarios, developed to stress-test the FBC, each of which demonstrate the economic case for the project remains positive, and in all but one scenario the impact on Council reserves if the project is cancelled would be greater than continuing construction.
Work on the Trams to Newhaven project halted on 25 March following guidance from the First Minister on COVID-19 and recommenced in June.
An updated programme shows that the project is still working towards Spring 2023 for completion and is forecast to be delivered within the agreed £207.3m budget.
Council Leader Adam McVey said: “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.”