Edinburgh Trams: Trams on track with 14% budget left

Tram on the test track at Gogar depot Of the revised budget of £776, £669m has been spent

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The Edinburgh Trams project is still on track despite only 14% of the budget being left in the coffers, council officials have confirmed.

Edinburgh City Council said with two years left to go it was still on budget with only £107m left to spend.

Of the revised budget of £776, £669m has been spent.

The council said it was also doing everything it could to beat the summer 2014 completion date. It will run from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrew Square.

All major utility diversion works are to be completed by the end of November 2012.

'Danger zone'

An Edinburgh City Council spokeswoman said because they were out of the "higher risk zone" where things could go wrong and therefore cost more, they were confidant the £107m would be enough to cover work for the next two years.

She added: "Some of the most costly and complex areas of the work, such as the utility diversions are now complete and this accounted for a higher spend than other parts of the project.

"With this work completed, we are confident that the the remainder of the project will be completed in line with the revised budget and schedule."

Lesley Hinds, Edinburgh City Council's transport convener, said: "This positive update demonstrates once again the excellent progress that has been made since the revised programme began.

"The tram is Scotland's second largest infrastructure project and, as everyone knows, there have been a number of challenges to overcome. However, I'm very pleased that we are continuing to move in the right direction.

"It's vital that we build on this progress and, where we can, aim to complete works early.

"We understand the huge importance of Christmas to retailers so steps are being taken to try to improve access for shoppers by fully opening Princes Street and improving pedestrian access around St Andrew Square and Shandwick Place."

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "Since the new governance arrangements were put in place last year, Transport Scotland has played a key role in supporting the council and contractor in getting the trams project back on track, and I am pleased to see that this report shows considerable progress has been made by all those involved with the project since September last year."

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