Trainspotting author supports tram extension through Leith

Irvine Welsh has voiced his support for the tram extension to Newhaven and has intimated that he's in favour of money from the £1bn City Deal being used to pay for it.

Tramspotting: Irvine Welsh supports an extension of the line. Picture: Film4/Tristar Pictures
Tramspotting: Irvine Welsh supports an extension of the line. Picture: Film4/Tristar Pictures

The Trainspotting author Retweeted an Evening News article earlier today which stated that Edinburgh had secured £1 billion in the new ‘City Deal’.

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In response to the article’s web headline, which asked “Should money from the £1bn City Deal be used for the tram extension?”, Mr Welsh wrote on Twitter “Get it done”.

Irvine Welsh’s message of support concerns the completion of Edinburgh’s tram line, which would fill the gap between York Place and Newhaven via Leith Walk.

Much of Leith Walk was dug up in the late 2000s in preparation for the trams. Preparatory works resulted in a number of independent businesses being forced to close due to decreased footfall, leaving many Leith residents and traders are angered that the line was never completed as first proposed.

Irvine Welsh has in the past declared a fondness for trams, stating in 2011: “I must be the only person in Edinburgh who actually does love the trams. But I think it’s a great idea. Okay, they’ve made a complete a**e of it, but if Edinburgh wants to be a modern European city, it needs trams.”

City of Edinburgh Council have not yet confirmed whether the £1 billion sum will be used to fund the tram extension, though it is expected that part of the money will be put aside to complete the project.

An Edinburgh tram featured prominently in the movie sequel to Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, with lead character Renton filmed riding one from the airport and along Princes Street when he returns to the city for the first time in 20 years.