Edinburgh tram extension: road closures, construction dates and when the tram to Newhaven will be operational

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The Edinburgh tram is being extended to Newhaven, in a project estimated to cost around £207 million.

It’s expected to take three-and-a-half years, and will cause significant disruption to the north of the city.

A map of the new route once the extension is complete. Picture: Edinburgh City Council

A map of the new route once the extension is complete. Picture: Edinburgh City Council

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Here’s everything you need to know about the extension and the new tram route.

What will be the extended route for the tram?

Currently, the tram runs from Edinburgh Airport to York Place, and the new line will add 4.69km (2.91 miles) to its length, connecting it to Leith and Newhaven.

The extension will add eight new stops, going all the way to Newhaven. Picture: Edinburgh City Council

The extension will add eight new stops, going all the way to Newhaven. Picture: Edinburgh City Council

Eight new stops will be created, all in keeping with the current look and feel of the existing stops.

In addition to the current stops, people will be able to jump on and off the trams at:

- Picardy Place

- McDonald Road

The ambitious new extension has divided opinion. Picture: Edinburgh City Council

The ambitious new extension has divided opinion. Picture: Edinburgh City Council

- Balfour Street

- Foot of the Walk

- The Shore

- Port of Leith

- Ocean Terminal

- Newhaven

When does the work begin?

The official start date for the construction work was Monday 18 November and the work is now underway on Constitution Street.

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The extension is predicted to take around three-and-a-half years, with the aim of having the new line fully operational by Spring 2023.

What areas will be affected?

Constitution Street

Work began in two sections of Constitution Street on Monday 18 November 2019. These are:

- Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane – scheduled to be completed by Spring 2021

- Queen Charlotte Street to Constitution Place – scheduled to be finished by Summer 2020.

Throughout this period, access will be maintained from Laurie Street into Kirkgate and from Mitchell Street into Maritime Lane.

Construction work will involve excavation of the road to allow utility diversions, track-laying, installation of tram infrastructure, public realm improvements and heritage and archaeology works.

On Baltic Street, the Robert Burns statue will be removed and restored before being returned once construction is completed.

The 1790s A-listed South Leith Parish graveyard wall will also be taken down and re-built.

Part of this work will include the archaeological exhumation of the remains of approximately 200 gravesites dating from between the 14th and 17th centuries.

According to Edinburgh Council, the work has been "designed to avoid disturbing known burials within the present graveyard."

In order to support public transport provision and pedestrian access, and given the narrow layout of Constitution Street, there will be no on-street parking during construction.

Bus routes will also be disrupted, with Lothian Buses services 12 and 16 operating on diverted routes. Information on changes to bus stops and routes is available on the Lothian Buses website as well as via the Transport of Edinburgh app.

Communal bins previously situated on Constitution Street have been moved to the nearest side street.

Uplifts will be monitored to ensure the area is kept clean and tidy, but if you require a bulk uplift, you should contact Edinburgh Council.

Leith Walk

Enabling work began on two sections of Leith Walk on 18 November. These are:

- Crown Place to Lorne Street

- Pilrig Street to Brunswick Road

During this work, parking and loading bays will be removed on the city bound side of Leith Walk but traffic will continue to flow in both directions, with one lane on each side.

Certain parts of the pavements will be reduced in some locations.

Once these two sections of Leith Walk are completed, works will begin on:

- Lorne Street to Pilrig Street

- Brunswick Road to London Road

This enabling work is expected to be finished in spring 2020 and will create a city bound running lane from Foot of the Walk to London Road, which will remain open for the duration of the main construction works.

The main works will begin in spring 2020, with an estimated completion date of autumn 2021.

Diversion routes and advanced warning signs will be put in place in the vicinity for information and direction. There will be no on-street parking in the areas where construction is taking place.

Bus routes are not expected to be affected, although bus stops may be moved a short distance. Information on changes to bus stops will be available on the Lothian Buses website as well as via the Transport of Edinburgh app.

Some parts of the cycle lane on Leith Walk will be closed during construction work.

Communal bins that are currently situated on Leith Walk in the affected sections will be moved to the nearest side street and the council will monitor uplifts to ensure the area is kept clean and tidy.

Newhaven and waterfront area

Works in Newhaven and the waterfront area outside Ocean Terminal will commence in spring 2020.

The council is expected to update its website with further information soon.

The full construction schedule is as follows:

London Road to Manderston Street: enabling works November 2019 to spring 2020 / main works spring 2020 – autumn 2021

Queen Charlotte Street to Constitution Place: November 2019 – autumn 2020

Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane: November 2019 – spring 2021

Ocean Drive: spring 2020 – autumn 2020

Melrose Drive to Newhaven: spring 2020 – summer 2021

Rennie’s Isle to Ocean Terminal: summer 2020 – spring 2021

Picardy Place to London Road: spring 2021 – spring 2022

Coatfield Lane to Queen Charlotte Street: spring 2021 – spring 2022

Tower Place to Rennie’s Isle: spring 2021 – autumn 2021

Ocean Drive to Melrose Drive: summer 2021 – autumn 2021

Manderston Street to Foot of the Walk: autumn 2021 – summer 2022

Constitution Place to Tower Place: autumn 2021 – summer 2022

Melrose Drive: autumn 2021 – spring 2022

Picardy Place to York Place: winter 2021/22 – summer 2022