The council has announced that they will not take a final decision on whether or not to proceed with the Trams to Newhaven project until early 2019.

The council invited tenders for the project in early September and evaluations are ongoing.

The final stage in the process is to seek best and final offers from the bidders and to clarify specific elements of the bids received.

This will then be used to complete the Final Business Case for consideration by elected members.

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “We have adopted a very thorough and robust process for the Trams to Newhaven project throughout, learning crucial lessons from what went wrong previously.

“We have been very clear from the outset that we will not bring forward the Final Business Case for tram until we have vigorously tested the cost and time estimates with the market.”

Vice Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Karen Doran said: “It is important for the Council to have sufficient time to undertake due diligence and comprehensive evaluation of the final submissions and we have therefore decided to take extra time to allow this process to take place.

“We have also asked officials to extend the ongoing consultation period on the project design and plans until 11 November to ensure maximum participation and we look forward to the Final Business Case being presented to councillors for a decision in March 2019.”

The council says that when completed the tram line to Newhaven would take almost 14 million passengers in the first operational year. This is more than double the current patronage on the  Edinburgh Airport to York Place line.

The Council has been consulting with residents and businesses in Leith and Newhaven and will use that feedback in the final design of the proposed route. They have proposed a £2.4m Support for Business package during the construction period to ease the pain of the construction phase for local businesses.

Members of the public can view the Trams to Newhaven project designs and plans, which have been updated with the benefit of public feedback from consultation earlier in the summer, until Sunday 11 November 2018 on the Council’s Consultation Hub