Latest tram works due to start as Mound reopens

The next phase of tram works is due to get underway in the city centre this weekend.

On Saturday 3 March at 5am, a new diversion will be introduced for buses in the east end of Princes Street and the Mound will re-open to taxis, buses, cycles and emergency vehicles.

The latest work plans, and associated traffic management, are being introduced following in-depth engineering and construction planning by City of Edinburgh Council in co-operation with the contractors. The next phase of tram works get underway at the end of March when work sites at Shandwick Place and Haymarket will be extended to include West Maitland Street.

Residents and businesses have been updated on the arrangements via a series of briefings in recent weeks. Meanwhile businesses affected by the works will continue to receive support through the 'Open for Business' budget. Additional support was recently announced when Councillors approved a £100,000 injection into the fund, bringing this year's budget to more than half a million pounds.

Cllr Gordon Mackenzie, transport convener, City of Edinburgh Council, said: "First and foremost we would like to thank the public for their continued patience while the work continues. The diversions and traffic management that was put in place earlier in January bedded in well and every effort is being made to ensure that will also be true on this occasion.

"Following the successful mediation last year, progress with the Edinburgh Trams project has gone well. The on-street works are difficult for the city, businesses and travellers in particular, but the progress is evident and it's important we build and improve on that where we can."

The closures of the east side of St Andrew Square combined with a section of Princes Street between Waverley Bridge and South St Andrew Street and, at the west end, Shandwick Place, were brought forward earlier this year and to date the traffic management has been effective.

Details of diversions

1. Haymarket - Lothian Road: From the end of March, the existing works sites at Shandwick Place and Haymarket are being extended to include West Maitland Street. This means a revised set of diversions will be put in place. Access will continue for Atholl and Coates Crescents on either side of Shandwick Place, with one end of the crescent being open at any one time. North-South traffic will be maintained through Palmerston Place with through access available via Morrison Street and Torphichen Place. Traffic on Torphichen Place will be reversed to flow from Morrison Street to Palmerston Place. Traffic from Dalry will also be able to travel along Morrison Street which will become two-way as far as Torpichen Place.
Buses will be diverted locally via Rosebery, Grosvenor and Lansdowne Crescents in the north and by the West Approach Road in the south. Emergency services access will be maintained throughout the works.
Residents and businesses will be notified once a specific start date for this work has been set.
The Client Target Programme outlines that current road closures are expected to be lifted at Haymarket by Q3 2013 and at Shandwick Place by Q2 2013.

2. Princes Street - east end: The current diversion means Princes Street is narrowed to one lane for buses only with traffic lights operating between Waverley Bridge and South St. Andrew Street. (This is to accommodate works on South St. Andrew Street which will join up tram works between the two roads).
From 3 March 2012 the bus lane will be removed to allow the contractors to work over a larger area. North - South access will be available from North Bridge to Leith Street and to the Bus Station via York Place. North - South general traffic access through Waverley Bridge onto South St. David Street will remain open.
Further to this the contractors were asked to investigate whether The Mound could be opened earlier than originally programmed and through the collaborative working have re-sequenced their activities to open up access for bus, taxi, cyclists and emergency services through The Mound and Hanover Street from 3 March.
A contingency plan has also been drawn up which would restrict traffic from turning right into Broughton Street from Picardy roundabout (the contingency would be put into effect in the event of heavy congestion from Leith Street).

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