Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

New designs for part of Edinburgh tram extension

Edinburgh tram Image copyright Getty Images

New designs are being drawn up for part of the planned extension of Edinburgh's tram network.

Council officials are working on a preferred option for the Leith Walk section following a workshop with local businesses and organisations.

These proposals, which include cars and trams sharing lanes on part of the route, will go out to consultation.

City of Edinburgh Council said it would work with the emergency services to refine part of the plans.

Under the proposals, traffic would be held by a red light while the trams pass through the single lane area, where there will be no tram stops.

There would be segregated cycleways and space for pedestrians on each side of the street, as well as space for parking and loading on both sides of the road.

However, concerns have been identified about access for emergency vehicles if one or both of the lanes were blocked.

'Working hard'

Hannah Ross, the council's senior officer responsible for the tram project, said: "We will be talking to the emergency services about that.

"It was something that was raised at the workshop and we think it can be overcome."

The estimated £165m project to extend the trams to Newhaven is due to be voted on by councillors in December.

Lesley Macinnes, the council's transport convener, said: "We're working incredibly hard to shape the proposals using the invaluable feedback submitted, so that the final designs which council will vote on towards the end of this year are as community-based as possible."

Image copyright PA

Andy Keba, Sustrans Scotland's head of strategic partnerships, said: "It is clear that the City of Edinburgh Council recognises the ambition for Leith Walk to continue to improve as a place that prioritises people.

"Sustrans Scotland look forward to continued engagement with the process, and will support those measures which improve walking and cycling for the community of Leith."

Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, said: "The tram designs have come a long way to addressing the concerns of pedestrians and cyclists in terms of space and quality of the public realm.

"It was good to see the tram team working with communities on the solutions to some challenging issues. Hopefully, further work can meet technical and business considerations and the needs of the local community."

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