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Edinburgh tram extension approved

Contracts to extend Edinburgh's tram service to Newhaven had been approved by an Edinburgh city council committee. Edinburgh councillors have voted to extend the current tram system to Leith and Newhaven in a vote held at the capital's City Chambers today (March 14).

The final business case for the project now estimates the cost at GBP207m, which includes a contingency fund. In the first year of operation, the council predicts 16 million passengers will use the extended line. Taking into account lessons learnt in the first phase of the tram project, construction is planned using a "one-dig" approach - closing each work site only once and opening them again only once all works are complete. Construction is due to commence following a six-month early contractor involvement period that is due to begin at the end of March. A joint venture of Sacyr, Farrans and Neopul has been awarded the infrastructure and systems contract, and Morrison Utility Services has the swept path contract.

The extension will be funded through borrowing paid back by future tram fare revenues, along with a special GBP20m dividend from the city's public bus firm Lothian Buses. The city is also working with businesses along the route to finalise a GBP2.4m package of support for the construction period. Opening is due in early 2023.

14/15 March 2019


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