Princes Street, west of Waverley Bridge, is set to re-open to buses, cycles and taxis by 30 June according to the council. Subject to complete handover by the infrastructure contractor and sign-off , the move should provide a welcome boost to the city centre at the start of summer. The Mound will also reopen to general traffic, helping to free up north and southbound traffic flow in the city centre.
As work continues in the project’s busiest period of construction, the next major programme of city centre tram works has also been announced for York Place.
From 14 July, following the re-opening of Broughton Street, works will commence on York Place, allowing for bus only access between North Street, Andrew Street and Broughton Street. Access to the bus station from Elder Street will be maintained during this phase. Detailed information regarding these diversions will be made public in advance of work getting underway.
Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said: “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.
“The bus station will be required to 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.
“We appreciate the continued support of the public as work gets underway on this latest phase of the project.”
As construction progresses, and a single signalised bus lane can be accommodated on Princes Street at the junction of Waverley Bridge and South St Andrew Street, York Place will be closed to all traffic between North St Andrew Street and Broughton Street. Details when this will take place will be made public closer to the time. However, it is currently anticipated that this will take place at the end of September.
The York Place closure will require the temporary relocation of the bus station and discussions with bus operators and bus station management are ongoing. These plans will be made public after they have been finalised. During this time access to the St James Centre and Multrees Walk will be maintained via Little King Street.
Officers have been speaking to businesses about the plans in advance of implementation and offering logistical support for planning for and receiving deliveries. In addition, 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.