In the council planning documents that got us thinking about all this in the first place, city officials claimed that a new bridge would be incompatible with the new trams, something we found puzzling as we were sure that electric trams and the railway in Leith were operating at the same time. As a consequence, we’ve been looking for a photograph that would lay rest to our suspicions, and as you can see, we found one.
It was uploaded by Old Leither to Flickr, and we think it shows that the latest trams should have no difficulty squeezing under a bridge over Leith Walk. If you look carefully at the photo (click on it to see a larger version) you can see that double decker electric trams could safely run underneath the railway bridge over Leith Walk in the 1930’s, so we’re sure it would be possible to engineer something that would carry walkers and cyclists over the Walk in this day and age.
All we’re asking for is that the city officials seriously consider it as an option for the future, since so much rebuilding work could potentially be taking place on either side of the old bridge site. There may be other reasons why it wouldn’t work, but we feel the idea could be pursued further, and we hope that a proper feasibility study can be undertaken to establish whether the idea could be realistically achieved and at what cost.
The photo also shows that there should be room for two tram lines, cars and pedestrians, at least at this part of Leith Walk near Pilrig Street when the tram returns, despite claims in some quarters to the contrary.