Transport chiefs in Edinburgh are mulling over a brand new ‘hybrid’ possibility for the town’s subsequent tram line incorporating two beforehand thought-about routes – which might see tracks laid throughout the historic Dean Bridge.
The route would come with utilizing a part of the previous railway path between Roseburn and Granton, supposed to be line ‘1b’ within the first undertaking earlier than that part was scrapped, however would diverge towards Orchard Brae so it might serve the Western Basic Hospital earlier than persevering with north to Granton.
Beneath this proposal a line would additionally loop again to the town centre by crossing the Dean Bridge, which might require single observe working and visitors restrictions.
The general public are set to be requested for his or her views in a session launching early subsequent yr.
The ‘1b’ line alongside the Roseburn Path, now an energetic journey hall, was already accredited to be used by the Scottish Authorities previous to it being dropped amid rising prices in 2009. This beforehand made it the obvious selection for a north-south extension.
Nonetheless final yr an alternative choice most well-liked by council officers emerged, by means of Orchard Brae and Crewe Toll, which might keep away from the lack of the Roseburn Path and “might join higher for folks,” transport convener Scott Arthur stated then.
He stated this week: “The 2 routes on the desk are happening what’s the Roseburn cycle path or primarily happening Orchard Brae.”
He added: “A type of hybrid possibility between the 2 has been raised.
“The type of issues we checked out have been ensuring we have now a very good connection to Craigleith Retail Park and in addition the important thing factor was having a very good connection to the hospital.
“If we have been to do a completely Roseburn route it doesn’t give us a very good connection to the hospital in order that’s one of many issues that’s driving pondering simply now.
“It means we’d must take it off sooner or later, possibly across the retail park, to get it nearer to the hospital as a result of I believe it’s actually vital we get that good connection.”
Cllr Arthur stated routing trams by means of Orchard Brae would create a”Leith Stroll state of affairs” the place there can be a need to “maintain buses, have good energetic journey and have trams”.
He added: “Various visitors goes up there simply now.
“Even when we have a look at simply important visitors – so visitors for the hospital and visitors to the properties on that street – there’s nonetheless plenty of motion.
“So we’re again to a Leith Stroll state of affairs once we’re attempting to do an excessive amount of with not sufficient area.”
Nonetheless he admitted having an “emotional attachment” to Dean Bridge and had reservations about that a part of the plan.
“I’d hate to see something occur to that that detracted from the advantages it gives,” he stated.
“I believe it must go all the way down to single working once we have been it to get it throughout. The 2 tram strains must coalesce there.
“Clearly it’s a listed construction and I’d hate to see the overhead pylons throughout it, personally.”
Cllr Arthur stated the Roseburn Path remained “fairly engaging” as a result of there may be “already a rail mattress there of some form or type that may be constructed on”.
He stated there can be a “like for like” alternative of energetic journey provision misplaced by means of using the previous railway line.
Deviating from the ‘1b’ route accredited in 2006 would require plans to return to the Scottish Parliament which might take as much as two years, nonetheless this course of might be carried out in parallel to different work to organize for building to start.
Cllr Arthur has beforehand stated the north-south extension will open will open in 2035 “on the very newest”.