Edinburgh tram extension to Newhaven: I was the only councillor to vote against original scheme, but the extension is good news – Steve Cardownie

I was relieved to read that the tram extension to Newhaven is now undergoing active trials with so-called ‘ghost trams’ tentatively making their way down Leith Street to test the new route.
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As the only councillor on Edinburgh Council to vote against the original scheme, I was nevertheless convinced that the best way to improve the tramline was to extend it. From now until March 17, trams will proceed down the route at walking pace accompanied by a retinue of tram worthies who will assess the integrity of the line, as well as checking that all the new signals are working properly.

The council, particularly the former SNP/Labour administration, should be commended for ensuring that the 2.9-mile extension will be up and running by late spring. The additional eight stops, transporting passengers down Leith Walk and on to Newhaven, will do much to enhance the current line and should provide a much-needed boost to retail outlets along the route.

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With the highest population density in Edinburgh, Leith Walk boasts nearly 26,000 people living within an 800-metre radius, which is higher than any part of Glasgow and also higher than anywhere else in Scotland, so there should obviously be no shortage of potential passengers for the tram to attract.

As a Leither, I am delighted that its regeneration will proceed apace and that fellow Leithers and newcomers alike will be able to take advantage of the clean, green and comfortable transport that the tram will provide. While we may still not have the tram network originally envisaged, at least we will have a decent tramline!