Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Princes Street closure plan ready

Princes Street is to close to all traffic from 21 February

Edinburgh tram project bosses have announced the timetable for the full closure of Princes Street to traffic.

The work by Tie will begin on Saturday 21 February and last until November, with a break in August for the duration of the Edinburgh Festival.

Temporary traffic systems will be put in place to try to ensure the disruption is kept to a minimum.

Councillor Phil Wheeler said he was confident the traffic in Edinburgh could be kept moving.

Mr Wheeler, the city's transport convener, added: "People travelling around Edinburgh by foot and all other means of transport will be kept well informed through a multi-media advertising campaign about parking, bus routes and other useful information.

"It will also include other tips about how to carry on shopping around the tram works.

We are confident that this plan is the best solution for all
David Mackay
Chairman of tie Ltd

"It is crucial to Edinburgh and its business community that we get the message across that during this time the shops in Edinburgh will still be open."

David Mackay, chairman of Tie, said: "Princes Street is Scotland's most iconic thoroughfare and we understand that the eyes of the country and beyond will be on us as we construct the infrastructure for Edinburgh's trams.

"We are confident that this plan is the best solution for all."

Ian Craig, Lothian Buses' managing director said: "This challenging phase in the tram works will see all buses removed from Princes Street between South St David Street and South Charlotte Street.

"A diversion on this scale will inevitably mean some disruption to bus passengers.

"We continue to work closely with tie and the city council in order to keep Edinburgh moving whilst these necessary works are being undertaken.

"Information about the diversion will be widely distributed via our buses, travel shops and of course downloadable from our website - ."

The work in February will see the start of laying the rails for the first section of the Edinburgh tram network.

Businesses assisted

The work site will take up the width of Princes Street between South Charlotte Street and South St David Street, both of which will remain open to traffic.

Pedestrian crossings will be located at South Charlotte Street, The Mound and South St David Street.

During the works, buses, taxis and cycles will be diverted via George Street and general traffic will travel along Queen Street.

George Street will be fully accessible and central parking will be maintained, however, some traffic restrictions will remain in place.

Additional signage will be installed around the city centre to advise where shops, bus stops, pedestrian crossings and taxi ranks are located.

The work will be supported by the Edinburgh tram project's largest and most sophisticated logistics initiative yet, with approximately 400 businesses expected to receive assistance.

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