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Edinburgh tram system to be completed

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Edinburghs troubled tram project will go ahead after a new deal was agreed between the contractor and Edinburgh City Council. The council has confirmed that the deal has been signed after lengthy negotiations with Bilfinger Berger and that the tram system will now be completed. The announcement was made after Transport Scotland said it would be stepping in to assist with managing the project.

The government has agreed to free up 72 million worth of funds which it had previously frozen. The total budget for the scheme will now come to 776 million and the first trams are due to start carrying passengers by the summer of 2014.

Leader of Edinburgh City Council, Jenny Dawe, said cooperation between all parties involved in the tram project meant that it will now go ahead and that it would provide residents of the city with a clean, efficient way of travelling. Chief executive of the council, Sue Bruce, said a great deal of hard work had been invested in tackling the challenges the scheme had thrown up.

She added that it was now possible for those concerned to put their full concentration into seeing the project completed. She went on to say that she was pleased that Transport Scotland was now on board and looked forward to working closely with the government body.

Bruce said that there would be inevitable hurdles to overcome in the future but was confident that they would be dealt with efficiently now that there was new governance and improved operational arrangements.