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Princes Street tramworks will begin in September

posted 4 Jun 2011, 06:21 by Alistar Frater
The planned tramworks on Princes Street, originally planned for July, will now begin in September.

Since the announcement was made last month that an agreement had been made with the infrastructure contractor, on the required works for Princes Street, an extensive period of consultation has been undertaken.

The original intention was for this work to begin in July, to allow the programme to accommodate the summer and winter festival periods and finish as early in 2012 as possible. However after considering the feedback from city centre stakeholders, elected members and representatives of transport bodies it has been decided that this work should be delayed until early September instead.

Dave Anderson, Director of City Development said: "My team and I have spent a great deal of time listening to comments regarding the planned work programme for Princes Street and I understand the concerns regarding starting prior to full certainty on final costs, funding and programme. It is with this in mind, and having considered how best to implement some of the mitigation ideas we received, we have taken the decision to postpone these works until after the summer festivals, in September.

"Throughout this process it has been necessary to balance the need to address the problems inherent in Princes Street at present, whilst mitigating the impact that the works will have on the city, its businesses and its festivals. I can assure all stakeholders that their contributions to date have been valuable, informed our decision making process and will also help define the full plan for mitigation measures we will undertake going forward."

Cllr Jenny Dawe, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "There is no doubt that the remedial works on Princes Street are necessary and I am keen that we see as many results from mediation as quickly as possible. However, I think this small delay is prudent to take account of stakeholders' views and until we're in a position to fully understand the way forward for bringing trams into our city centre."

The programme of enabling works will still go ahead as planned from Monday 6 June. This includes resurfacing work on George Street and Charlotte Square and installing the required temporary traffic management required to accommodate the traffic diversion. Doing this now means we will not have to do it during the summer festival season.

Some additional minor works, including alterations to road markings and changes to parking/loading requirements will take place two weeks prior to the diversion being implemented in early September.

The plan will now be to implement the traffic diversion in the weekend prior to the works starting on 5 September. This means that Princes Street will have more public space available for spectators for the Edinburgh International Festival Fireworks, the finale of the Festival season on Sunday 4 September.

Source: The City of Edinburgh Council