Edinburgh’s troubled tram project has reached a significant milestone with the start of work to resurface the city’s main shopping thoroughfare.
Contracting consortium Bilfinger Berger/Siemens/CAF has started to relay a section of Princes Street between Frederick Street and Castle Street so that it can be used as a viewing area for the end of festival fireworks display.
This section has been completed to programme and is the first area of Princes Street where the road surface has begun to be reinstated.
The move is a bid to win some positive publicity for the £500M project, which is widely understood to be running late and over budget after enabling works overran.
Work started in February and the tram was originally expected to open in 2011.
“Council is united in expressing its full support for Tie’s efforts to continue to protect the public purse.”
Edinburgh City Council statement
Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (Tie), the arms-length delivery mechanism for Edinburgh City Council, has launched formal contractual dispute resolution proceedings against the Bilfinger/Siemens/CAF consortium through tram client Edinburgh Trams.
Last month Edinburgh City Council’s political parties gave their unanimous support for Tie’s decision to seek a resolution to its dispute.
In a statement the council said: “While recognising there are divisions on the principle of trams, Council is united in expressing its ongoing determination and full support for Tie’s efforts to continue to protect the public purse from the effect of undue programme delay and any unwarranted financial claims.
“Council fully acknowledges that Tie has put extensive efforts into resolving issues at dispute with the contractor.”