THE next phase of city centre tram works is due to commence this weekend.
Existing works at Shandwick Place and Haymarket are being extended to include West Maitland Street from 5am on Saturday, March 24, with new traffic diversions being introduced to the local area.
The implementation of the latest phase of construction work, and associated traffic management, follows in-depth engineering and construction planning by City of Edinburgh Council in co-operation with the contractors.
The work will begin at 5am on Saturday
Residents and businesses have been updated on the plans in recent weeks at a series of briefings to help them plan for the changes.
The Council has also set up the West End Focus Group, tasked with identifying local issues and priorities and helping to increase footfall in the area as tram construction work continues. The group is made up of members from the Council, Marketing Edinburgh, Federation of Small Businesses, Essential Edinburgh as well as a variety of local businesses. This will be supported through the ‘Open for Business’ budget, which will see £175,000 invested directly into driving footfall towards the West End in the coming months.
The overall ‘OFB’ budget now stands at over £600,000, available between now and March 2013, following a £100,000 injection by the city’s councillors last month.
Dave Anderson, Director of City Development, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Work on the tram project is now taking place along the length of the tram route. The latest move to expand the site into West Maitland Street will give contractors access to the most flexible possible space, allowing tram work to be completed in the fastest possible time.
“We have committed £175,000 towards initiatives to attract people to the West End and will be rolling these out in the coming months. In the meantime we would like to encourage people to visit the area as all businesses are open and operating as normal.
“We appreciate the continued support of the public and are confident the latest set of diversions will bed in quickly as work gets underway on this latest phase of tram works.”
From March 24, a revised set of diversions will be put in place. Access will continue for Atholl and Coates Crescents on either side of Shandwick Place, with one end of the Crescent being open at any one time. North-South traffic will be maintained through Palmerston Place with through access available via Morrison Street and Torphichen Place. Traffic on Torphichen Place will be reversed to flow from Morrison Street to Palmerston Place. Traffic from Dalry will also be able to travel along Morrison Street which will become two-way as far as Torpichen Place.
Buses will be diverted locally via Rosebery, Grosvenor and Lansdowne Crescents in the north and by the West Approach Road in the south. Emergency services access will be maintained throughout the works.
The Client Target Programme outlines that current road closures are expected to be lifted at Haymarket by Q3 2013 and at Shandwick Place by Q2 2013.