This photograph was taken in 2009 when Edinburgh’s world famous Princes Street was dug up to put down tram tracks, but last week councillors voted to halt the tram short of this city centre thoroughfare. This decision is now likely to be reversed after the Scottish government intervened.

Edinburgh’s Princes Street was closed for most of 2009 while tram tracks were laid, causing massive disruption to retailers, including council-owned bus company Lothian Buses. However, a battle has been raging between councillors over whether to borrow an extra £230m to bring trams along this throughfare to St Andrew Square or halt the line at Haymarket, on the fringe of the city centre.

No party has overall control of the council. The largest group, the Lib Dems, favour the St Andrew Square option, but Labour and Tory councillors combined last week to win a vote to stop the line at Haymarket. SNP members abstained from that vote, but have now indicated that they will back their Lib Dem coalition partners in a new vote on September 2.

This comes after the SNP-led Scottish government threatened to hold back £72m of the £500m that it has pledged for the scheme if it stops at Haymarket.

Photograph courtesy of Chris Malcolm.

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