Edinburgh’s tram link between Leith and Newhaven is set to carry its first passengers in June, it has been confirmed.
After almost four years of construction, services on the new route between Picardy Place in the city centre and Newhaven will begin from 12pm on June 7.
The tram line extension, which has cost £207m, was previously touted to open by “spring 2023″.
Council chiefs hope the extension of tram services in Edinburgh will deliver “high capacity and clean” transport links to the north of the city, as well as bring more jobs and affordable housing to the area.
Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, Cammy Day, said: “As we welcome back a piece of tram history to Leith Walk, it’s fitting that we’re also able to look forward to the future of Edinburgh’s tram network, and the start of passenger services on the brand-new line to Newhaven.
“While this is a moment for celebration, it’s also a chance to reflect on the last few years, and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank residents and businesses for their patience during this major, complex project.
“We’re now counting down the days to passenger services, and I’m pleased to say this project will be delivered within budget and on time.
“This is thanks to lessons learned from the previous project along with a great deal of hard work and dedication from our in-house, council team who have led and delivered the project, as well as contractors involved in the construction process.”
To mark the opening of the new line, two historic cable wheels from the capital’s original Victorian tram system were lowered into place on Thursday.
The wheels were discovered where Pilrig Street meets Leith Walk in August 2021 during excavations to prepare for the work on the extension.
Lea Harrison, managing director of Edinburgh Trams, said: “The setting of a launch date for the new line is fantastic news for city residents and visitors, but particularly communities between the city centre and Newhaven.
“In recent years, thanks to the efforts of the entire Edinburgh Trams team, our multi award-winning tramway has become one of the most popular transport systems of its type thanks to a single-minded commitment to service excellence that will continue into an exciting new era.
“As we approach this major milestone in the history of Edinburgh Trams and the city, we can’t wait to welcome even more customers on board as we introduce swift and reliable services to the vibrant communities along the route, helping to unlock their full potential and providing a real boost for local businesses.
“While the project will open for revenue services on June 7, 2023, outstanding public realm works will continue in some sections.”
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