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Why does the traffic management on Leith Walk only accommodate one direction of traffic and not two-way traffic during construction?

In order to provide the contractor with a site large enough to accommodate the excavation required to construct the tram infrastructure, we are constrained to only providing a single running lane for general traffic and buses.  Had we provided two-way traffic either side of the construction site, we will require a significantly longer period of time to complete the Leith Walk section of the works.  The construction methodology of providing the contractor with large worksites is commonly used on major transport projects and allows works to continue in other areas in the event an unexpected occurrence requires construction having to stop in a particular area. This is a key lesson learned from the first phase of tram.

Through communication with Lothian Buses, it was identified that a city bound running lane limited disruption associated with bus diversions as far as reasonably possible, while traffic diversion routes on both Easter Road and Bonnington Road can sufficiently accommodate Leith bound traffic.

Traffic modelling of the above diversions has confirmed that the alternative routes chosen can accommodate the increase in traffic volume.

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How are we complying with noise and vibration limits during construction?

All works carried out are in line with the project’s Code of Construction Practice (CoCP). The CoCP sets out limits for noise and vibration to protect buildings and other structures from physical damage and forms part of the Scottish Parliament Tram Act (2006) which gave the City of Edinburgh Council the permissions to build the tram.

As per the CoCP, construction noise and vibration is monitored by the project at key points on the route throughout the duration of the works to ensure that the works are kept within the specified limits. There are seven noise and vibration monitors. The locations of these mirror base line studies carried out ahead of the works. These record noise and levels over a one-hour period  which then gives provides an average of noise and vibration levels experienced during that time period. This methodology is in accordance with the project’s CoCP as well as industry led guidance.  

The contractor’s compliance with the CoCP is monitored by the City of Edinburgh Council and reported on a monthly basis. You can view the Health & Safety monitoring dashboards at the end of each month.

In accordance with the Contractor’s contract in the event of non-compliance with the agreed predicted noise and vibration levels, the Contractor will notify the City of Edinburgh Council immediately to review the workings methods to ensure that re-occurrence is prevented.

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Why is the project doing external surveys of all the buildings and internal surveys of listed buildings on the route?

The Council’s main contractor Sacyr Farrans Neopul (SFN) is required to carry out a record of condition on some properties adjacent to the route. 

The list of properties to be recorded has been agreed with the City of Edinburgh Council. The purpose of this is to record the existing condition of properties prior to the main work commencing and while we do not envisage any damage to properties resulting from the construction works, it is normal practice for a project of this nature that a means of identifying any issues is in place.  

The properties identified will be subject to an external inspection and copies of this will be made available to owners if requested. 

In the case of listed buildings, it is important that internal examinations of premises are carried out if access to the property is possible. There are 111 listed buildings on the route. The internal surveys will entail photographs of the internal structure and note taking of all the details that are necessary to ensure a robust survey of the building structure is carried out. All of the surveying staff will carry identification badges. 

A copy of the survey findings will be made available to owners if requested.

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How do I make a claim if I believe my property has been damaged as a result of the project?

You should contact [email protected] providing 

  • Description of the incident
  • Location of the incident
  • Date of the incident
  • Any estimates or receipts for damage that you are claiming for
  • Photographic evidence
  • Any evidence available showing condition of property ahead of tram works commencing

Submission of a claim form does not mean an automatic compensation – any claimant must be able to prove that the loss or damage results directly as a result of the works.

While we will process any claim as quickly as possible, as each claim is different, our claim handler is not able to give a set timescale for processing them. They may also need to request more information if, for example, the documentation provided is incomplete and / or requires further clarification.

The trams project team will the information to the City of Edinburgh Council’s Insurance Services for processing through the  project’s claims handlers. The Insurance Services team will be able to check on progress.

You can view our insurance claims process diagram (PDF). 

The claims handlers are:

Charles Taylor General, Adjusting Services Limited, The Centrum, 38 Queen Street, Glasgow G1 3DX

The claims handlers assess whether the project is legally liable based on information supplied by you and any other relevant information. The City of Edinburgh Council and project have no input into the decision and cannot influence it. This is to ensure that all claims are dealt with in a fair and reasonable way.

You will be notified in writing of the outcome by the claims handlers, for example:

  • The project is legally liable and an offer in settlement is included.
  • They need more information from witnesses.
  • They need more information from a council or project department.
  • The project is not legally liable and the reason will be included.

If you are not satisfied with the decision reached and are sure that all relevant information has been sent you may decide to seek independent legal advice.

If you appoint a solicitor the claims handlers will only deal with you through them.

  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your claim, and you are sure that all the relevant information has been submitted to the claims handlers, you can complain.
  • If your complaint is about the service provided by the claims handlers it should be addressed to the Branch Manager of Charles Taylor General 
  • If you disagree with the decision you may ask Charles Taylor General to explain it or seek your own independent legal advice.
  • If you are not satisfied with the way your claim has been handled you may contact the Insurance Manager of the City of Edinburgh Council.
  • Under the terms of the insurance cover the City of Edinburgh Council or project cannot comment on or reverse any decision on liability.
  • If your complaint is about maladministration you should contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

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Why do certain works run over the projects normal working hours?

As we progress with the main infrastructure works, specifically the pouring of concrete for track works, there may be times when we have to work out with the projects operating hours.  

Once concrete works have started, we have to ensure that we complete the finishing works on the concrete before leaving the site.  There are other contributing factors that can impact on these works being completed such as the weather, traffic management to and from a site working area and supply of material. 

We will endeavour to notify as far in advanced as possible, however please note that due to the nature of these work it is unlikely that we will be able to provide the projects standard seven days out of hours working notification period. Where there is planned out of hour works the project will follow the standard notification period as stipulated in the Code of Construction Practice (CoCP).

Where possible, notification regarding such works will be communicated via the project’s Twitter account (@TramstoNewhaven).

As with all out of hours working, we will endeavour to cause minimal disruption and complete works as quickly as possible. 

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What are overhead line equipment (OLE) works and how long do they take?

As part of our construction, there are works required to install the over line equipment needed for the trams. This is the overhead wires and supporting infrastructure that carries electricity to power the trams which can either consist of poles (similar to lampposts) or building fixings. 

The location of the OLE poles will either be within the central lane of the tram track or within footpaths along the route. This is similar to the existing tram network. OLE pole locations have been approved by the City of Edinburgh Council as part of the planning application for the tram stops. The locations of the poles have been designed in accordance with design codes and standards which includes the Edinburgh Street Design Guidance and has been coordinated with street lighting alignment and safety standards. Additionally there will be a requirement to attach OLE building fixings to the exterior of buildings along the route.

We anticipate the duration of OLE works to take up to four weeks at any one location. 

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Will there be any further consultation with residents and businesses with respect to the final design?

There will be one further round of consultation with the community once the designs have been finalised. The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) consultation has now ended. The final designs currently being drawn up, following the significant amount of consultation the project undertook in 2018 and 2019 with the community. The final layout will take account of feedback received and will be a better reflection of the community's aspiration for the project.

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Does the project comply with the Health and Safety Executive’s requirements on the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)?

Yes, the project is fully compliant with the HSE’s RIDDOR. Since construction start, the project has not reported any RIDDOR incidences.

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