Tram extension work to start on Leith Walk next month

Construction of the £207m line to Newhaven is scheduled to last until summer 2021.

The main phase of construction work to extend Edinburgh’s tram system will begin next month on Leith Walk.

The Trams to Newhaven project team and its contractors say they have learned the lessons of the troubled first stage which overran in both time and cost.

Track-laying and utility diversions will be carried out at the same time in a bid to reduce disruption while ‘logistics hubs’ will be set up to help businesses and residents with deliveries.

The £207m extension will add 2.9 miles of track in both directions, connecting Leith and Newhaven with the current final stop at York Place.

Eight new stops will be added to the system once timetabled services begin in spring 2023.

Leith Walk will be reduced to one city-bound lane between London Road and Crown Place for the duration of the works, which will begin on March 28 and last until summer 2021.

Bus routes are being diverted and a two-directional cycle lane will be created along Leith Walk during the construction work.

The first phase of the project is already well under way on Constitution Street.

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “We are already progressing well with the first phase of the project on Constitution Street and the Trams to Newhaven team have been working closely with contractors and transport operators to plan this next crucial stage.”

The first stage of the tramline linking Edinburgh Airport with the city centre began in 2007, but its initial cost of £375m more than doubled to £775m.

Since it opened in May 2014, the line’s passenger numbers have exceeded expectations.

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