Tram progress in the city as St Andrew Square opens
All road and track works are now complete around St. Andrew Square which was returned to public use today.
The completion of these works around the Square follows the full re-opening of Princes Street at the end of 2012. Road and track works between Shandwick Place and Haymarket Junction are scheduled for completion during the summer with York Place scheduled to complete by the end of the year.
Once road and track construction work is finished, further works to install overhead and underground cabling will be carried out. Details of this programme with be made available soon.
Transport Convener Lesley Hinds said:
"Good progress is now clearly visible across the city centre and the removal of barriers and fences at St Andrew Square will be a welcome sight to traders, residents and visitors to the area.
"This is the first of four major city centre work sites to be completed in 2013, all of which are on course to be finished in line with the revised schedule by the end of the year.
"We want to remind people that a programme of overhead and underground cable installation will be carried out in the coming months. This will be planned in a way that limits disruption as much as possible and we'll make details available once they are confirmed.
"I'm confident that all on-street works and cable installation will be completed by the end of the year, meaning that we can start full line tram testing and driver training along the whole route soon after. 2013 has been a very productive year so far for the project and I expect that to continue."
Transport Minister Keith Brown said:
“Following the recent Council report which showed that the project is making good progress in relation to the revised timetable, I hope that local businesses, residents, commuters and visitors can take further heart from the fact that another key milestone has been reached today.
“I congratulate everyone involved, however no-one is getting carried away and it’s important to build on this momentum as we enter a crucial period for the city. Work continues apace at several other key sites and we know that some further disruption is inevitable as the programme of cable installation approaches.
“We remain committed to ensuring that there are no further delays, that any opportunity to increase progress is exploited, and that costs are contained within the revised target.”
The access arrangements to St. Andrew Square will revert back to the former layout which means that a clockwise circulation route will be re-established with access into the Square being taken from the North side via North St. David Street and an exit via the South side of the Square.
The contract completion date for the project remains summer 2014. Once on-street works and overhead cabling work has been completed by the end of the year, a programme of rigorous testing and commissioning will take place in early 2014 to prepare the system and the service for operation. The tram project team will report to Council in September 2013 with an update on project timescales.
The project remains in line with the revised budget (£776m) approved by the Council in September 2011, with work either ahead of schedule or in line with the revised timescale reported in December 2011.