York Place to Close For Major Tram Works
Princes Street, west of Waverley Bridge, including the Mound, is set to re-open to buses, cycles and taxis by the end of the month.
However, from 14 July, York Place will close to all but bus traffic between North St Andrew Street and Broughton Street. York Place will then be closed to all traffic in September until the end of 2013, during which time the bus station will be re-located.
York Place is the final stop on the curtailed tramline, where trams will turn around before continuing out to Edinburgh Airport.
In preparation for the major tram works, Broughton Street has been closed since 16 June to allow telecommunications ducting to be installed between Broughton Street and Cathedral Lane, part of a new connection hub for telephone wiring being installed on the North side of York Place which will replace cabling in the middle of the street.
While traffic is still running on York Place, one lane has been closed with traffic heading eastbound towards Broughton Street being diverted through Dundas Street, Abercromby Place, and Albany Street, while traffic running from Broughton Street to Leith Walk has been diverted via East London Street and Annandale Street.
In a statement, Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, reiterated: “The new Administration is determined to make sure that the project will continue to move forward, in a spirit of cooperation, with all the parties working together.
“Edinburgh tram works are being managed to a clearly defined programme with this work scheduled to start now in order to deliver the project by the summer of 2014.
“Meanwhile the re-opening of Princes Street, west of Waverley Bridge, will come as a welcome boost to business at what remains a challenging period for traders.”
Sue Bruce, Chief Executive, City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Throughout the tram works, people have adapted quickly to the new traffic systems and bus diversions once they have had the chance to bed-in. This is a significant work package in the programme and its implementation is in itself a clear indication of continuing meaningful progress."
Bruce said the bus station will be "temporarily re-located" later in the year.
"This will happen following the conclusion of detailed discussions with bus operators and bus station management. We have managed a similar relocation before and are confident this process will be a relatively smooth transition," said Bruce.
The council said traders affected by the works continue to be supported by the ‘Open for Business’ fund set up by the Council to help them through the construction phase of the project.
Residents group Edinburgh Tram Facts, who say that the trams are creating worse pollution in secondary residential streets, have suggested the diversions may be long-lasting, "because the tram line cannot have traffic run upon it".
"The Council present this announcement as if at some point the work will finish, they will remove the diversion signs and all will return to normal," it says of the recent closure of Broughton Street.
"In a sense they are right but the 'normal' will be the new normal, and the traffic will continue to divert even though the yellow signs are removed."