City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

"New Phase" Begins in Tram Project

By edg - Posted on 15 September 2011

Tram on Princes Street

Following yesterday's announcement that the Scottish Government will oversee the Edinburgh Trams project, today the Council announced that a new agreement had been forged with the Consortium (Bilfinger Berger, Siemens and CAF) contracted to provide the tramline from Edinburgh Airport to York Place.

The deal comes at the end of months of secretive negotiations carried out through a formal mediation process, and the threatened loss of some £72 million in Scottish Government funding for the troubled project after a surprise vote by Edinburgh City Council to halt the tramline at Haymarket.

The funds were reinstated after the Council made a U-turn on that decision, by restoring St Andrew Square as the destination for the tramline.

As has been the case throughout the trams saga, there was little information divulged about the terms of the new agreement as they are deemed "commercially confidential."

However, Edinburgh residents have been advised that the revised timescale for completing the line from Edinburgh Airport to York Place is summer 2014.

Council Leader Cllr Jenny Dawe called the signing of the contract "an important milestone in restoring our vision for a clean, green and efficient transport system in Scotland's capital."

Council Chief Executive Sue Bruce welcomed the arrival of a "new phase" in the project. She seems encourage by the new governance arrangements, which includes an all-party political oversight group, and the forthcoming appointment of Turner and Townsend as the Council's project management consultants.

Said Bruce: "As with any major construction project I'm sure we will have hurdles to overcome, but our new governance and operational arrangements are aimed at dealing with those as efficiently as possible."

Remedial works on the Princes Street tram track begin this weekend and continue until July 2012, with a break for the Edinburgh Winter Festivals.