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As we have already reported to you the council is still considering the completion of the tramline from York Place to Newhaven. It has begun a consultation today.

Now is the time for you to have your say whether the council should spend £165 million on the route (they already have the overhead lines and the trams themselves) on completing what was started some years ago.

The route will extend the tramline from York Place with these stops :

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “When the Outline Business Case was approved by Council in September we pledged to dedicate the following year or so (ahead of the final decision) to establishing mutually beneficial relationships with local residents and businesses who would be most affected by construction works. We’ve been working very closely with the local community and our partners ever since to model traffic management plans and look at options for supporting businesses as much as possible if the project goes ahead.

“These plans have been developed taking on board lessons learned from the first phase of tramworks and the current traffic management arrangements in place around Leith Street.

“The recent Leith survey showed that a majority of residents think trams will make a positive difference to Leith. However, there are clearly some very real concerns about disruption and congestion during construction. This consultation gives people the chance to help shape how we manage things if and when work gets under way. We hope as many people as possible will have their say, either at one of our four information events or via the Consultation Hub, which will host the consultation from 19 March until 29 April.”

Click on the image below to have a look at the Consultation Hub where you can add your comments.

*Public information events

Thursday 22 March: Leith Theatre, 11am – 6pm

Tuesday 3 April: McDonald Road Library, 10am – 4pm

Thursday 12 April: Leith Community Education Centre, 3pm – 9pm

Saturday 21 April: Ocean Terminal, 12 noon – 5pm

Garry Clark, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Development Manager for the East of Scotland, said:“Businesses in and around Leith Walk suffered during the last aborted attempt to build a tram line through to Leith and Newhaven and they do not look back with any fondness to those disrupted years.  Now, before the inquiry on the last trams fiasco is finished and while work to redevelop the St James quarter is still ongoing, these businesses and the new businesses that have come to Leith are faced with the prospect of yet more tram disruption.

“It looks very much as if the City of Edinburgh Council is intent on driving the new tram extension through and that is why it is vital that it puts local businesses first throughout its consultation and, if progressed, the construction.  It is encouraging that the Council has already announced plans for a series of business forums.  FSB has been talking to the Council for the past six months about its plans to develop its support scheme for local businesses throughout the work, and this must extend not just to businesses on Leith Walk and Constitution Street but also in the surrounding area, where knock-on effects of the disruption will also be keenly felt.

“FSB will be working with local businesses and the Council to ensure that the best possible deal for business is secured.  Trams could well bring a long term benefit to Leith and Newhaven but disruption must be kept to an absolute minimum until the first trams run and the needs of local businesses must be supported by the Council as a priority.  Local businesses simply cannot afford a repeat of the disruption that happened last time.  We urge as many local self-employed and small businesses as possible to make their voices heard and take part in the consultation.”

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative & Unionist MSP for Lothian, said: “The Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly questioned the wisdom of the Council moving ahead with phase 2 of the trams before the public inquiry into the mismanagement of the first phase of the trams has even reported. However, given the Council has made a decision to push things forward, I agree with the Federation of Small Businesses that the views of local retailers and other businesses who were so badly affected by the previous works in and around Leith Walk must be listened to very carefully to avoid a repeat of the fiasco we saw last time.

“I encourage local businesses to make their views known during the consultation period and I urge Council leaders to work with local businesses to develop a comprehensive and effective package of support measures before any new works restart on the route of the tram extension.”