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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 15:42 GMT
60m released for Edinburgh trams
Edinburgh tram - artist's impression
A new tram system would link the city centre to the airport
Ministers have given approval for work to start on preparations for Edinburgh's new tram line with the release of 60m of funding.

The funding will allow for work to divert and protect utility pipes and cables in preparation for phase 1a of the tram network.

Councillors voted in favour of going ahead with the project, with 56 out of 58 supporting the plans in December.

Transport Minister Tavish Scott said the trams would reduce congestion.

Environmental choice

He said: "A sustainable, integrated and effective transport network lies at the heart of our economic development.

"Trams will give passengers a safe, environmental travel choice, a choice which will see reduced congestion and reduced emissions.

"The utilities agreement that has been put in place is the right approach. Allowing a single contractor to do all the work will minimise disruption in the capital, save money and ensure the delivery of the project. That is welcome news for Edinburgh."

The first route to be built would be west to east, linking the capital's airport with the Firth of Forth shore.

A second route is scheduled to go from Ocean Terminal in Leith to the city centre.

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20 Jan 06 |  Scotland

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