Legacy Blog

Edinburgh Tram Extension Map & Route Works

In 2014, as we all know, a new tram line was opened in Edinburgh for the first time in 60 years to mixed reviews. Plagued by being vastly over budget (some say the final spend was double the original costings), the route being much shorter than originally planned and the time taken to complete the project being almost 5 years more than expected, the Edinburgh Trams were always going to have a shaky start.

Edinburgh Trams

Are Edinburgh trams a success?

However since opening they have performed better than expected with profits and passenger number being far higher than forecast with a number of people putting it down to the cleanliness of the trams and the friendly staff. The additional price for an airport trip still appears to be a talking point however.

Now, after 6 months of planning, construction is under way for an extension to the current route to the north of the city, with the new line due to open in Spring 2023.

Edinburgh Tram Extension Route

At an estimated cost of £207 million, the tram extension will have 8 stops and will be 2.91 miles (4.69km) long. The current route runs from Edinburgh Airport to York Place and the extension will run from this stop to Newhaven, in the north of the city just west of Leith. The line will pass by Ocean Terminal, home to the Royal Yacht Britannia, and through one of the most densely populated areas of Edinburgh, so making the area more accessible for people across the city.

Edinburgh Tram Extension Route

Image from Edinburgh Trams https://edinburghtrams.com/

It is predicted that the new line will carry 16 million passengers during its first year. This figure may even be higher because the current line as mentioned has continually outperformed its projections since it opened 5 years ago.

Between 2018 and 2019 traffic in the city centre increased by 6.5%, something which the new tram extension will aim to greatly reduce as it offers a more efficient transport option than cars. Not only will this help reduce pollution, the Edinburgh trams are zero0 emissions and have regenerative braking, so are using energy that would otherwise be wasted. They also look very sleek and modern on our city’s streets!

When does work on the Tram Extension begin?

Preparation work began on the first section on 18th November, from Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane. The project has 14 planned stages, each taking a few months using a “one dig” approach: closing each site just once and only reopening it once the work is completed.

The project is working hard with local business owners to ensure minimal disruption. £2.4 million has been allocated to this aspect of the work, and includes support such as vouchers for customers to use at shops affected by the construction works, and providing dedicated team members to help with deliveries.

Despite the disruption during the construction work, the extension to the tramline is sure to be a great addition to the city of Edinburgh. Watch this space for news of its opening!

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