Tram line will now stop a mile from the city centre

Edinburgh residents and businesses reacted with disgust yesterday after councilors voted to radically downscale plans for the city’s new tram line.

The decision means the line will be halved in length, stopping 11 stops short of its original destination and a mile from the city centre.

Councillors rejected a council-backed rescue plan for the original scheme, which has been riven by cost overruns since work began in 2007. The council reported last week that the projected cost of the scheme had doubled in four years from £545m to £1bn.

The city will now operate a shuttle service from Haymarket in the west of the city to Edinburgh Airport, which critics claim will be loss making.

Businesses on Princes Street in the city centre – which was mired in roadworks for almost three years while contractors installed tram lines that will now no longer be used – reacted angrily to the news.

Consultant Turner and Townsend will be tasked with dealing with the fallout from the scheme’s reassessment, after it was appointed to replace Transport Initiatives Edinburgh as manager of the troubled scheme earlier this week.