City of Edinburgh Councillors have agreed in principle a GBP144.7m project to extend the tramway in the Scottish capital to Newhaven. The announcement has attracted significant backing from the local business community.
The extension, part of the original plan conceived more than a decade ago, would see trams continue down Leith Walk on a three-mile alignment to Newhaven using financial dividends from Lothian Buses to meet initial costs.
The group of business leaders said in a statement that it was “convinced” the link is “needed” to make the city more accessible for shoppers, visitors and commuters. It added: “As key business and community interests working in Leith and North Edinburgh we, the undersigned, wish to urge the City of Edinburgh Council to recognise that completing the extension of the tram to Leith and Newhaven is now absolutely the right thing to do.”
Council Leader, Councillor Andrew Burns, said: “I am pleased we have been able to find a way forward for the project, which would deliver a range of key benefits in terms of economic growth, greater accessibility and the environment for Leith and the city as a whole.”
Edinburgh’s tram service began in May 2014, but only after six years of disruption and a bitter dispute between the City Council and contractors.