With congestion forecasted to double by 2021, Edinburgh needed to address the issue of transport capacity. The development of a new tram system provided a solution to the city’s growing public transport needs. Potential routes were assessed, and the Leith Waterfront to Edinburgh airport route was selected for development in Phase I.
WSP designed the first line of the planned network, which extends from east to west across the city and connects to the airport.
A wide and complex mix of urban realm and streetscape was included in the route. Integration with existing traffic flows required significant remodelling of roadway and traffic signal controlled junctions to permit practical runtimes for the tram. WSP provided key stakeholder management, interfacing with the city planning authorities, Network Rail, and the bus operators. WSP’s role included complete design services, specifications for overall system functionality, integration of the system with other transport modes for road use, pedestrians, traffic management and public transport issues, delivery of a design that maximizes the speed of construction, system engineering, systems assurance processes, safety and RAM procedures, and energy evaluation and reduction recommendations, including regenerative braking designs.
WSP also provided support for the client’s procurement process for trams, covering provision of specifications and technical support through to the development of the tender for tram provision and maintenance. WSP were subsequently novated to the contractor consortium to provide design changes and construction support through to testing and commissioning of the finished line.