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Sector Welcomes Edinburgh Tram Extension

By Daniel Hill

The UK’s light rail sector has welcomed a decision to press ahead with plans to extend one of the country’s most popular tram networks.

Since opening nearly five years ago, Edinburgh’s tramway has proved an overwhelming success, reporting 6.6 million customer journeys last year and turning a profit a year ahead of schedule.

UK Tram, the leading voice of the nation’s light rail sector, believes the decision by Edinburgh City Council to extend the current line by 2.8 miles reflects growing recognition of the vital role trams play in the future of urban transport.

James Hammett, UK Tram Managing Director, explained: “Edinburgh regularly tops the polls in independent customer satisfaction surveys and enjoys industry-leading levels of reliability.

“Clearly, both residents and visitors to the historic city – as well as local businesses – have been delighted with the tram and it’s fantastic news the Council has given the green light to extension plansthat will bring further massive benefits the city.

“The decision is also a huge vote of confidence in light rail as a solution to the challenges faced by urban areas across the UK, including reducing emissions, cutting congestion and attracting inward investment.”

Edinburgh Trams currently operates between the city’s airport and York Place and the estimated £207 million extension to Leith and Newhaven is expected to be operational by 2023. It will see the completion of original proposals for the network that had been put on hold.