Edinburgh Trams to Newhaven: Opening of tram line sees businesses celebrate start of new era

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Things “already picking up” for businesses after trams open, owners say

Small business owners in Leith Walk are celebrating after the long-awaited opening of the new Trams to Newhaven route.

Today marked a new era for Edinburgh as the tram route, which stops at Leith Walk, The Shore, Ocean Terminal and Newhaven, opened to the public for the first time. And business owners in the area, who have been plagued with the tramworks outside their shops, said they were thrilled.

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Hadas Monaco, owner of Maria’s Kakes, said: “I’m very happy and I’m very excited about what the trams are going to bring with them.” She added that the new route will have a positive impact on businesses in the area. “Absolutely, it will. The way it was, people were not coming this way because of traffic and roadworks, but now everything’s opening up and you can see already it’s picking up a little bit again as well and people are much happier and excited for it," she said.

Hadas Monaco, owner of Maria’s KakesHadas Monaco, owner of Maria’s Kakes
Hadas Monaco, owner of Maria’s Kakes

Bob Baird, of Harburn Hobbies, added that he hoped the route would bring new customers to that part of the city. He said: “It’s good to see the trams. Let’s hope that it will bring us new customers and make it easier for other customers, and we can now advertise the fact that you can hop on a plane anywhere, or a train anywhere, hop on the tram, and step off right at the door of the shop here. So we’re very fortunate in that respect.”

Trams began operating from 12pm today, June 7, carrying paying passengers from the city centre to Leith and Newhaven. The Trams to Newhaven project was first approved in August 2019, with construction lasting three and a half years - costing Edinburgh council over £200 million. It has been 64 years since locals were last able to board a tram to Leith. The original Edinburgh tram system stopped running in 1956.

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