Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 16:24 UK

City tram work plans reconsidered

Tram in Princes Street (artist impression)
Trams are due to be running in Edinburgh in 2011

Plans to close part of Edinburgh's Princes Street for tram works are being reconsidered after an urgent meeting.

Officials have proposed that one lane remains open until the end of the year.

The 90-minute summit brought together council officials, tram developers, the police and bus managers to discuss the roadworks at The Mound.

The meeting was called after the tram utility works caused gridlock on Wednesday, when Princes Street was closed to traffic in both directions.

The road was reopened westbound following the chaos.

It had been planned to close Princes Street to traffic again on Sunday for six months after traffic lights were fixed.

However, under the new proposals one lane would remain open for the rest of this year.

I can assure drivers and travellers that actions have been taken to ensure we do everything we can to stop this happening again
Jenny Dawe
Edinburgh City Council

Work to lay tram tracks along Princes Street is due to begin in January 2009, which would cause the major thoroughfare to be closed to traffic in both directions for five months.

Monday's meeting also came up with plans for council parking attendants to target "traffic hotspots", including dealing with illegal loading and unloading.

Diversion signs surrounding the works will be upgraded, and consideration will be given to new temporary park-and-ride sites.

Edinburgh City Council leader Jenny Dawe said: "This is the biggest construction project Scotland has ever seen, and we apologise again for the delays last Wednesday.

"I can assure drivers and travellers that actions have been taken to ensure we do everything we can to stop this happening again.

"I organised a meeting of all the key parties on Monday and we have agreed yet more improvements to ensure we remain a pleasant city to travel to and visit.

"This will ensure that future phases run as smoothly as the closures of Shandwick Place and Haymarket to traffic."

A spokesman for Tie said: "Tie found the meeting constructive and welcomes the measures Edinburgh City Council put forward to assist the project in the complex traffic management task it faces in the city centre.

"It was helpful to get an opportunity to examine the lessons learned last week and discuss how to ensure they don't happen again."

Willie Gallagher, chief executive of tram developers Tie, was forced to make a public apology following Wednesday's debacle.

On Friday, Edinburgh City Council's deputy leader, Steve Cardownie, called for Mr Gallagher to resign.


SEE ALSO
Call for city tram boss to resign
03 Oct 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Tram bosses apologise for 'chaos'
01 Oct 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife

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