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Edinburgh’s tram line extension plans given green light

Councillors have approved a proposed extension to Edinburgh’s existing tram line. The project will see the line lengthened by 2.8 miles from the City Centre to Newhaven, with the extension set to be operational by early 2023.

The project will be set to cost up to £207m but supporters say this will be money well spent to match Edinburgh’s population growth rate.

It will be funded through borrowing paid back by future tram fare revenues, along with a special £20m dividend from the city's public bus firm Lothian Buses.

Edinburgh City Council's transport convenor Lesley Macinnes had this to say about the plans: "This is a crucial decision for Edinburgh - for today's residents and for generations to come.

"Taking trams to Newhaven will allow brownfield development sites to be transformed, opening up the whole of north Edinburgh to a wealth of opportunities in terms of jobs, housing and local facilities.

"I firmly believe the tram project is in the best interests of the city's current and future residents and, as an administration, we will do everything in our power to make sure it's delivered on time and on budget."

Paul Tetlaw, of Transform Scotland, added: "This will serve a key transport corridor and boost development in the city creating more sustainable travel patterns.

"In the UK Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester and Blackpool are all extending their systems and across the water Dublin is doing likewise.

"Edinburgh's initial tram route has been a great success, it has consistently outperformed passenger projections and there is ample evidence that it has encouraged motorists to leave their cars behind and take the tram into the city."

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I was drawn to this briefing because I have been before. As always a useful and interesting event.

Ben Forsyth,
Fraser of Allander Scotland's Budget Briefing, 26 September 2017