Final decision on tram extension delayed until early 2019
A decision on whether to extend Edinburgh’s trams to Newhaven has been delayed until early 2019 to allow extra time for due diligence and evaluation of the final submissions, it was announced today.
Tenders for the £165 million project were received in early September and the City of Edinburgh Council said evaluations are ongoing.
Councillors were due to vote, but the decision will now not be taken until a meeting of the full council in March.
The council said today: “The final stage in this process is to seek best and final offers from the bidders and to clarify specific elements of the bids received, which will then be used to complete the Final Business Case for consideration by elected members.”
Under the plans, the current line would by extended by 2.8 miles (4.6km) from York Place to Newhaven.
Transport and environment convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “We have adopted a very thorough and robust process for the Trams to Newhaven project throughout, learning crucial lessons from what went wrong previously.
“We have been very clear from the outset that we will not bring forward the Final Business Case for tram until we have vigorously tested the cost and time estimates with the market.”
Vice transport and environment convener Councillor Karen Doran added: “It is important for the council to have sufficient time to undertake due diligence and comprehensive evaluation of the final submissions and we have therefore decided to take extra time to allow this process to take place.
“We have also asked officials to extend the ongoing consultation period on the project design and plans until 11 November to ensure maximum participation and we look forward to the Final Business Case being presented to councillors for a decision in March 2019.”
Members of the public can view the Trams to Newhaven project designs and plans, which have been updated thanks to public feedback from consultation earlier in the summer, until Sunday 11 November on the council’s Consultation Hub.