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Edinburgh Trams:
Extension to Newhaven

13 April 2018
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Edinburgh Trams
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Consultation closed

The Edinburgh Trams public consultation closed on 29 April 2018. The next stage of consultation is due to open before the end of the year. Check back here for updates.

In April, Permanent Rail Engineering subumitted a detailed response to the public consultation on extending the Edinburgh Trams system northwards to Leith and Newhaven. We have published our response here.

The proposals

Running for around 14 km and including 16 stops, the current Edinburgh Tram system connects Edinburgh Airport with the city centre and has been in operation since May 2014. It includes a heavy rail interchange at Edinburgh Gateway station as well as connections with both Haymarket and Waverley stations and is formed of a single two track line operated by 27 CAF tram vehicles.

The proposed extension involves nearly 5 km of new twin-track line, including 7 new stops and one relocated stop (the York Place stop will be replaced by a stop on Picardy Place). The line will follow Leith Walk and Constitution Street for most of its length, following the coast to the new terminus on Lindsay Road.

Commercial operation over the completed extension is planned for Summer 2022.

Our response

The extension of the Edinburgh Tram system to Newhaven via Leith is a major step forwards for sustainable transport provision in the Scottish capital.

However, there is room for improvement within the current plans.

The Newhaven extension offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to de-prioritise private motor vehicles in favour of sustainable and active travel. We feel that this opportunity has not been adequately grasped.

Thanks to major cycling investment projects across the city, completion of electrification throughout the Scottish Central Belt and improvements to long-distance high-speed railway services, the provision of sustainable transport options in and around Edinburgh is rapidly improving. The Newhaven extension of the Edinburgh Tram system can be a key component in enabling a step-change in this provision, so long as its progenitors are willing to flip the current transport hierarchy upside-down.

Map of the extension proposals

The map above shows the proposed Edinburgh Tram extension corridor and the proposed tram stops (in pink) and our proposed cycle network improvements (in orange). Road connections to Leith Walk that have been proposed for termination are shown in red.

About Permanent Rail Engineering

Permanent Rail Engineering (UK) Limited is an engineering consultancy focussed on planning, design and management for sustainable transport.

It was set up to gather, adapt and develop current railway knowledge and apply it to some of the varied challenges that face today’s society. This means employing ideas that are at the forefront of engineering technology but also includes exploring the innovations of the past.

Our public work has so far focussed on providing detailed feedback to consultations on transport matters. We have also established a strong public outreach presence, attempting to convey ideas about sustainable transport in an easily-digestible format.

To get in touch, contact us on Twitter or via email using the links below.