Councillors to discuss ambitious plans to extend Edinburgh Trams to Fife

Radical proposals to extend Edinburgh’s trams over the Firth of Forth and into Fife have been drafted up as part of an infrastructure “wish list” for the Fife region.

The ambitious idea has been mooted alongside plans to build around 21,000 new homes and improve road, rail and sea links in the kingdom, the Courier reports.

Designed to boost future prosperity in Fife, the region’s first interim Regional Spatial Strategy has been drawn up by planners in Edinburgh and South East Scotland and is due to go before Fife councillors for ratification next week prior to submission to the Scottish Government.

The potential costs of extending Edinburgh Trams over one of the Forth crossings has not been included in the document.

A proposal to extend the Capital’s existing tram line to the immediate northwest of Edinburgh Airport and over the Forth Road Bridge into Fife was raised in January as part of Edinburgh’s 10-year City Mobility Plan.

The Forth Road Bridge is being maintained as a public transport corridor

The suggestion to extend the trams into Fife was met with approval at the time by Fife Council transport chief Ken Gourlay, who said: “We are interested in any new sustainable transportation initiatives so we would certainly be happy to explore with Edinburgh City Council the possibility of extending the tram line.”

The recent proposal followed a 2008 feasibility study which found that the Forth Road Bridge, which once carried up to 65,000 vehicles a day but has been a dedicated public transport corridor since the opening of the Queensferry Crossing in 2017, would be ideal to carry a tram or light railway in the future.

It has also been suggested that any future expansion to Fife or the Lothians could take another form of transport including bus rapid transit or another form of road use.

Work to extend the current tram-line to Newhaven, where the original route was supposed to finish before problems hit, is now underway – with the £207m project expected to welcome its first passengers in the first quarter of 2023.