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Sun October 25 2020

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Edinburgh tram route cut back due to runaway costs

11 Oct 10 Edinburgh's troubled tram project has suffered a further blow with the news that its route is to be scaled back.

Edinburgh's troubled tram project has suffered a further blow with the news that its route is to be scaled back.

The £545m scheme has been experiencing cost pressures for some time, with operator Edinburgh Trams, which is wholly-owned by the city council, borrowing £55m in June to help it through a funding crisis.

Now, the council has admitted that the tram route will have to be shorter than originally planned, terminating at St Andrews Square, according to The Scotsman.

However, Edinburgh Trams is unable to put a figure on the escalating cost of the project, and remains in a dispute with its contractor Bilfinger Berger which is not expected to be resolved until Christmas at the earliest.

So far, more than three quarters of the original budget has been spent, with just 24% of the infrastructure work finished, according to a report compiled for the council.

The cost of the scaled-back route is now projected to be around £700m.

The planned extension of the tram to Edinburgh's waterfront is not expected to be complete until 2031, a blow to the area's regeneration plans.

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