Page last updated at 12:35 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Tram work 'only one week behind'

Princes Street
The dispute over tram work in Princes Street lasted four weeks

Work to lay tram tracks in Princes Street is only a week behind schedule despite a four-week dispute which halted work, according to Tie.

The tram developer said work had now resumed after an agreement was reached with contractors Bilfinger Berger on Friday night over disputed costs.

Edinburgh City Council said it would decide later whether to review plans to stop tram works during the Festival.

Retailers want the work to continue to ensure Christmas trade is not affected.

Sub-contractor McKenzie had been carrying on preparatory work during the row over costs.

Work to lay the first tram tracks are due to start next week after Bilfinger Berger completes ground work.

I don't know the precise details of the deal, I think for commercial and contractual reasons that information isn't available at the moment
Jenny Dawe
Edinburgh City Council

The dispute had kicked-off when Transport Initiative Edinburgh (Tie) accused its contractor, Bilfinger Berger, of demanding millions of pounds in extra payments.

Independent assessors were to have been called in if no agreement had been reached in the latest talks.

Jenny Dawe, Edinburgh City Council leader, told BBC Scotland: "I don't know the precise details of the deal, I think for commercial and contractual reasons that information isn't available at the moment.

"As far as I'm aware no money is being spent beyond the package of money we have available.

"The original decision was there would be an embargo on work during the Festival however a lot of the big retailers and traders in the city centre have asked if it might be possible to work through that period in order to ensure they get the Christmas trade.

"That decision will be taken nearer the time for the Festival."

She added that she understood the Hogmanay celebrations would not be affected by the delay on tram works.

Princes Street is used during the Festival in August for the Edinburgh Festivals' Cavalcade and for spectators to view fireworks from Edinburgh Castle.



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