Edinburgh trams: Shandwick Place to reopen after works

Trams The tram service should begin in May 2014

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Disruption caused by 18 months of tram works in the west end of Edinburgh is to end on Saturday when affected streets are reopened to traffic.

The reopening of the Manor Place to Shandwick Place stretch of the road will signal the end of tram works in the city centre, after six years.

There will be a return to two-way vehicle traffic at Manor Place.

Shandwick Place will have bus, taxi and cycle access, with general vehicles allowed entry between 20:00 and 07:00.

Modern system

Lesley Hinds, City of Edinburgh Council's transport convener, said: "With the tram project now nearing completion, the city centre is beginning to take shape and we can look forward to next year when passenger services will begin.

"We know it's been very difficult for people living and working in areas affected by the tram works and it will be a big relief that the majority of disruptive works in the city centre are now over.

"Now is the time to look forward to the opportunities ahead and to embrace the benefits that a modern, integrated transport system, incorporating all transport options, can bring to our city.

"Our target for service launch is now May 2014 but, of course, we'll bring this forward if we can."

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "Alongside the redevelopment of Haymarket and Waverley Stations, Edinburgh will very soon have a modern transport system it can be proud of.

"The investment at Haymarket, Waverley, the Gateway and in electrification, takes us one step closer to revolutionising the rail network in central Scotland."

"We cannot forget the disruption that those living and working in the west end have had to endure for too many years, but we can welcome this step forward in a tram project which is gathering pace."

Integrate services

Testing has begun between Gogar depot and Edinburgh Park Station with full route testing scheduled to begin in December.

The council has set out plans to create a new organisation, Transport for Edinburgh, to integrate transport services in the capital.

Transport for Edinburgh will be set up initially to integrate the tram and bus services, with Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams confirmed as the operators.

City of Edinburgh Council said it was confident it could meet the revised budget of £776m and the latest target of having the tram line operating before summer 2014.

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