Edinburgh Prepares For More Trams Works on Princes Street
Months of tram works on Princes Street are due to begin soon, with traffic diversions being introduced over the coming weekend (17 and 18 September 2011).
The diversions, which were previously planned for the start of September, begin on a phased basis from 5am on the Saturday with the full arrangements expected to be in place by Monday 19 September.
The Princes Street remedial works are due to be finished by July 2012, with a break in the works from 24 November 2011 to January 2012 for the Winter Festivals. The mobilisation of contractors will begin during the week of Monday 19 September.
Contractors worked around the clock to open the new tram tracks from west of Waverley Bridge to South Charlotte Street on Princes Street in December 2009. Although the trams have not been in operation yet, problems were identified with the road surface soon after the tracks were laid. A programme of remedial works was agreed with the Consortium as part of the mediation process to resolve the bitter contractual dispute. The remedial works are being carried out at no extra cost to the project.
Other works on Princes Street will also be undertaken including erecting street lighting and remaining overhead line equipment poles and work around the tram stop.
The scheduled diversions will see buses, taxis and cyclists diverted along George Street for the duration of the works, while general traffic will be rerouted along Queen Street. (See trams diversions PDF)
Council Leader Cllr Jenny Dawe said: "This is a first step in getting the works moving forward. We recognise the impact of putting the diversions in place. Disruption to visitors and shoppers on Princes Street will be kept to a minimum and we have liaised closely with local businesses to ensure the diversion goes as smoothly as possible for them.
“Our message is that Edinburgh is very much open for business and this will be communicated to the public through advertising, on-street signs and maps in the run up to the diversions going into place. The measures to avoid a clash with the very important winter festival season also remain in place."
Chief Executive Sue Bruce added: "It's essential for the project that we begin work soon, and for everyone in the city centre the certainty that it will be finished as soon as practicable is important. A huge amount of effort has gone into this and all parties are working hard to ensure we make headway for the short and long-term benefit of the city."
The Open for Business Scheme will provide an ongoing support and promotional service for city centre businesses and logistics support will be provided to assist traders directly impacted by the diversion.