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Edinburgh Trams to take on maintenance role

Agreement has been given for Edinburgh Trams to take over responsibility for tramway maintenance from the City of Edinburgh Council.

Agreement has been given for Edinburgh Trams to take over responsibility for tramway maintenance from the City of Edinburgh Council. Currently, the council holds contracts with Bilfinger/Siemens for infrastructure, CAF for vehicles, and Parkeon for ticket machines.

The reorganisation was agreed on 6 December as part of a new operating agreement to replace that from 2013, which contained provision for such a change.
It means the municipal operator will pay the council GBP8.5m (EUR9.5m) per annum in an asset fee for the tramline, which opened in 2014. Edinburgh Trams currently pays around GBP1.7m (EUR1.9m) per year, plus other fees including a proportion of advertising revenue.

It is intended that heads of terms in the agreement will be agreed by the end of December.

The council report accepts that the change will mean Edinburgh Trams becomes loss-making in the short-term (predicting a loss of around GBP10m (EUR11.3m) in 2018), a situation it intends to redress by taking share capital.