City leaders back the final case for trams

CITY councillors have overwhelmingly backed the final business case for the Edinburgh's £498 million tram project.

A total of 45 out of 58 councillors backed the report at a meeting of the full council on Thursday, with only the 13 SNP members voting against.

The report had asked for the full council's permission to enter into contracts with preferred bidder BBS, which will build the tram line, and CAF, which will supply the tram cars.

City leader Jenny Dawe said: "This is yet another positive step forward for Edinburgh's tram project. After much careful planning, negotiations and design we are now on the brink of a new world-class public transport choice for residents and visitors.

"This green light from councillors shows we are confident the tram network will be professionally built, is financially sound and will be a huge benefit to our city."

TIE chairman Willie Gallagher said: "This final vote allows us to move forward with the next stage of tram construction. The ambition and aspirations of the people of Edinburgh and their elected officials will begin to appear over the next two years as we finish the preparation work and begin to put the infrastructure in place."