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Thursday, March 30, 2024

MSP's green light for Edinburgh tram loop.

MSPs have agreed in principle to the building of a second tram line which would loop through Edinburgh. The final part of the route, linking Princes Street, the Leith-Granton shoreline and Haymarket, was agreed by 84 votes to 17 yesterday.

The move follows a bill to build a tram line from the city centre to Edinburgh Airport which was passed last week. The final go-ahead for the project will depend on an Edinburgh City Council decision later this year. Tram Line Two serving the airport has already been approved.

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Tavish Scott, transport minister, warned MSPs there was no guarantee the executive would find more than the 375m already pledged for the system, even though fast-rising costs for English tram lines have led to several projects being stopped.

In January, Edinburgh Council proposed a phased approach to merge parts of both lines. Leith would be connected to Granton and the airport line extended to Newbridge at a later date.

The council's project promoters, Tie (Transport Initiatives Edinburgh) said the projected cost of the full scheme is between 634m and 714m. Four companies will now be tendering for the contract to design, manufacture and maintain the tram vehicles.