Tram stop property price rise predicted in Edinburgh

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HOUSES in Edinburgh that are close to tram stops will benefit from a price hike similar to that enjoyed by properties in London near Tube stations, the council leader has predicted.

Andrew Burns, leader of Edinburgh City Council, said a property price boost is just one of the advantages that the beleaguered tram project will bring to the city once it is fully operational in summer 2014.

“There will be a positive impact on property prices around the stops,” he said. “I’m thinking of places like Haymarket, where there will be a stop outside the train station, which is Scotland’s fourth busiest. That will make a significant difference to that whole area.”

Burns, speaking ahead of the council’s five-year economic strategy announcement this week, said he was “acutely aware” of the difficulties the project has faced, but insisted it will bring “significant benefits” to the city.

“My primary focus is to look forward, and we will finish what’s been started,” he said. “There will be a tram from Edinburgh airport to the city centre and it will be operational by the summer of 2014.”

The council is due to receive a progress report next month that will give more details on time scales, and transport convener Lesley Hinds said progress had been “good and steady” throughout the summer.

Burns added that there would be a time when the tram line extends to Newhaven, as was originally planned, but acknowledged it was a long-term ambition. “That’s not on the cards for this five-year period,” he said.