Notification of the start of main construction works on Leith Walk
The main construction works to take trams to Newhaven will commence from London Road (at the Gayfield Square entrance) to Crown Place on 28 March 2020. These works are scheduled to be completed by Summer 2021. For the duration of the works Leith Walk will be reduced to one city bound lane.
In developing the construction strategy for the project, we have drawn on lessons from the first phase of tram and good practice for construction projects from other European cities. Our traffic management means we can open up large work sites to allow us to do both utility and main tramway construction works continuously. It also allows works to continue in the event of any problem being encountered during construction and fewer traffic management changes enables those affected by the works to adapt to the revised arrangements.
While we will be establishing large worksites, it will not mean we are working in every area at all times. However, our construction strategy only works by establishing these large worksites.
It is important to note that pedestrian access will be maintained on both sides of Leith Walk, pedestrian crossing points will be installed on Leith Walk, and sightlines across the site will be maintained. While current parking and loading will be suspended, we will be providing temporary car parks on Leith Walk to ensure people can still visit the area to shop and go about their business.
The enabling works currently being undertaken on Leith Walk to create the lane running city bound will continue throughout February and March 2020.
The closure will begin on 28 March 2020 and fencing will be erected in order to establish the construction site which will take approximately two weeks. Following site set up, Sacyr, Farrans, Neopul (SFN), and Morrison Utility Services (MUS) roles will involve excavation of the road to allow utility diversions, tracklaying, installation of tram infrastructure, public realm improvements, and heritage and archaeology works.
Construction site working hours are normally Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm. All works will be undertaken in line with the Code of Construction Practice which details, amongst other things, acceptable levels of noise and vibration. The Code of Construction Practice and the full construction programme can be found on the project website – www.tramstonewhaven.co.uk.
During construction, communal bins for Leith Walk will be situated at the nearest side street to their existing location. The regularity of uplifts will be increased to ensure the area is kept clean and tidy and uplifts will take place in the evening to minimise traffic in the area at peak times.
Residents who live in a flat on side streets off Leith Walk and have purchased a garden waste permit should continue to present their brown bins as usual. All existing kerbside collections in the area will continue as normal. If you require a bulk uplift, please contact the City of Edinburgh Council’s waste service via the Council website.
All post boxes will need to be removed from Leith Walk and will be returned once construction is completed. The following website however provides details of post box locations around Edinburgh - www.localpostbox.co.uk. Input your postcode and it will display a map showing post boxes close to your premises.
A bi-directional cycle lane on the west side of Leith Walk will be provided during the construction work as agreed with the Traffic Management Review Panel (TMRP) and Edinburgh Active Travel Forum. At times there will be local diversions to this lane in order to facilitate works but we will endeavour to keep the lane open at all times.
Supporting Local Businesses & Logistic Hubs
There will be a Support for Business package, devised in consultation with businesses in the area, which will include a local voucher scheme, an ‘open for business’ campaign across a range of media, and a business continuity fund. Full details can be found on the project website in the ‘Supporting Businesses’ section.
Logistics hubs to support Leith Walk businesses will be set up on Montgomery Street, Albert Street, Dalmeny Street and at the Foot of the Walk to help with deliveries and dispatches. These will also be the location for businesses presenting their trade waste. Help will also be at hand at these logistics hubs for residents expecting large deliveries such as appliances or furniture.
Traffic management arrangements have been approved jointly with members of the TMRP, including Lothian Buses and the emergency services, and these will be in place from 28 March 2020. Access through the site will be maintained for emergency services at all times. Diversion routes and advanced warning signage will be erected in the vicinity for information. You can download information on this here.
Access for residents on Balfour Street and the surrounding areas will be via a temporary one-way system utilising the entrance from Pilrig Street via Cambridge Avenue (Westbound) and exiting via Arthur Street. This will ensure that Cambridge Avenue is one-way from Pilrig Street to Balfour Street and Arthur Street will be one-way from Balfour Street to Pilrig Street (East Bound).
This one-way system is designed to maintain local access for residents during construction. This is a temporary measure and the road will return to its current layout as soon as the works are finished.
During main construction works there will be no stopping or waiting at any time within the city bound running lane. The project will assess the traffic management arrangements throughout the construction period and make changes if required.
Other Tram Works
In parallel with the Leith Walk works, other tram related work will be taking place at the following locations:
- Newhaven to Melrose Drive - traffic management and site set up will commence 06 March 2020 with main works scheduled to completed by Summer 2021.
- Ocean Drive - traffic management and site set up will commence 13 March 2020 with construction works scheduled to be completed by Autumn 2020.
- Queen Charlotte Street to Constitution Place – works are continuing and scheduled to be completed by Autumn 2020.
- Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane – works are continuing and scheduled to be completed by Spring 2021.
To keep up to date with the project’s progress and news, sign up to our mailing list at www.tramstonewhaven.co.uk.
Considerate Contractor Scheme
SFN and MUS both follow the principles of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which requires a firm focus on outstanding management, efficiency, awareness of local environmental issues, and a genuine consideration for neighbours and the community. During the time that the above works are being undertaken, all efforts will be made to minimise disruption and inconvenience to residents and businesses. Further details can be found at www.ccsheme.org.uk.