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Arrangements confirmed for upcoming tram works on Constitution Street

Posted: 6th November 2019

The Trams to Newhaven project team has today confirmed arrangements for the upcoming construction works on Constitution Street and enabling works on Leith Walk, which will get under way in mid-November.

Letters have been delivered to residents and businesses in the affected areas to advise them of traffic management, communal bin collection arrangements, diversions for bus services, as well as the suspension of parking on Constitution Street during the works.

An information event about the works will be held at South Leith Parish Church on Thursday 7 November from 12 noon – 7.30pm, allowing residents and businesses to meet the Trams to Newhaven project team and raise any queries.

A logistics hub is to be set up in Mitchell Street to support Constitution Street businesses with deliveries and dispatches. Residents expecting large deliveries can also obtain help from the logistics hub.

A Support for Business package will be in operation once construction gets under way, devised in consultation with businesses in the area. This will include a local voucher scheme, an ‘Open for Business’ campaign across a range of media, a business continuity fund and free business improvement courses.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “This is a significant moment as we make the final preparations for work to begin on taking trams to Newhaven and we want to make sure the residents and businesses who’ll be most impacted by this first phase have all the information they need. The Trams to Newhaven team and our contractors are united in approaching this major and transformational project with openness and diligence so that disruption is minimised as far as possible and communities are fully up to speed with each stage of the works.”

Construction schedule

Work will begin in two sections of Constitution Street from Monday 18 November 2019. These are:

  1. Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane – scheduled to be completed by Spring 2021
  2. Queen Charlotte Street to Constitution Place – scheduled to be finished by Summer 2020.

Work by Sacyr Farrans Neopul Joint Venture (the Infrastructure and Systems Contractor) and Morrison Utility Services (the Swept Path Contractor) will involve excavation of the road to allow utility diversions, track-laying, installation of tram infrastructure, public realm improvements and heritage and archaeology works. This includes the Robert Burns statue, situated on Baltic Street, being removed, undergoing restoration works, before being returned once construction is complete. In addition, the South Leith Parish Church wall will be taken down and re-built.

Further work will take place between:

  1. Coatfield Lane and Queen Charlotte Street – starting Spring 2021, scheduled to complete Spring 2022
  2. Constitution Place and Tower Place – starting Autumn 2021, scheduled to complete Autumn 2022

The full construction programme can be accessed on the Trams to Newhaven website:

Traffic Management

Traffic management arrangements have been approved jointly with members of the city’s Traffic Management Review Panel, including Lothian Buses and the emergency services, and these will be in place from the evening of Friday 15 November 2019. Diversion routes and advanced warning signs will be put in place in the vicinity for information and direction.

Throughout the construction period, access will be maintained to Kirkgate House from Laurie Street and to Coatfield Lane from Queen Charlotte Street. The Bernard Street / Baltic Street, Mitchell Street / Maritime Lane and Queen Charlotte Street road crossings will also remain open. All other sections of Constitution Street will be closed to vehicles. Traffic management plans are available online..


In order to support public transport provision and pedestrian access, and given the narrow layout of Constitution Street, there will be no on-street parking during construction.

Construction Site

From the 18 to 25 November, fencing will be erected in order to establish the construction site. Information boards, directional signage and support for business promotional materials will be displayed from 25 November onwards. Construction traffic will require access to the site.

During construction communal bins that are currently situated on Constitution Street will be moved to the nearest side street. The regularity of uplifts will be monitored to ensure the area is kept clean and tidy. If you require a bulk uplift, please contact the Council’s waste service in the usual manner.

Bus Diversions:

Lothian buses will be diverting Services 12 and 16 during the construction phase as follows:

  1. Service 12 (towards Seafield) – between Leith Walk and Links Place, buses will be diverted via Duke Street, Academy Street, Wellington Place and John’s Place.
  2. Service 12 (towards city centre) – between Gladstone Place and Leith Walk, buses will be diverted via East Hermitage Place, Vanburgh Place and Duke Street.
  3. Services 16 and N16 – between Leith Walk and Commercial Street, buses will be diverted via Great Junction Street, Henderson Street and The Shore in both directions.

Signage for traffic diversions will be in place from the evening of 15 November and the project will carefully monitor how this is working during the construction period.

Supporting Local Businesses

There will be a Support for Business package in operation, devised in consultation with businesses in the area, which will include a local voucher scheme, an ‘open for business’ campaign across a range of media, a business continuity fund, and free business improvement courses.

A logistics hub to support Constitution Street businesses will be set up on Mitchell Street to help with deliveries and dispatches. Help will also be at hand via the logistics hub for residents expecting large deliveries such as appliances or furniture. Further information on support for business can be found on the project website.

Leith Walk Enabling Works

Enabling works are also scheduled to get under way on Leith Walk in mid-November to prepare the access lane for traffic ahead of the main construction work, which begins in spring 2020.  The traffic management will be implemented on this section from 18 November 2019. Traffic will continue to flow in both directions and bus services will be unaffected, other than some bus stops being moved a short distance, in agreement with Lothian Buses.


For further information please visit Alternatively, you can contact us via email at or by phone on 0131 322 1122.

In addition, the Trams to Newhaven team is hosting a drop-in session event on Thursday 7 November from 12pm – 7.30pm at South Leith Parish Church, where the team will be more than happy to answer any queries residents and business owners might have about the planned works.

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