EDINBURGH’S controversial tram line extension will go ahead as expected after the capital’s council voted 36 to 26 in favour of completing the original line.

With the ruling SNP-Labour capital coalition backed by the Scottish Greens, yesterday’s result was never in doubt and despite objections from Tory and LibDem councillors the council duly approved the £207 million project.

The Hardie Inquiry into the fiasco of the original trams project is still ongoing. Tory transport spokesman, Councillor Nick Cook, told the Evening News: “SNP, Labour and Green councillors have opted to vote to extend the tram and in doing so have backed a costly business case filled with unknown financial risk to taxpayers.

“It offers terrible value for money.

“The Edinburgh tram inquiry is set to become one of the most expensive in British history. It is arrogant in the extreme that the council has today opted to proceed without the inquiry’s full findings.”

The project will begin at the end of March and Edinburgh Trams is timetabled to take its first passengers on the new extension – which will run from York Place to Newhaven – in early 2023.

Transport convenor Lesley Macinnes said: “This is a crucial decision for Edinburgh – for today’s residents and for generations to come. Taking trams to Newhaven will allow brownfield development sites to be transformed, opening up the whole of north Edinburgh to a wealth of opportunities in terms of jobs, housing and local facilities.

“I firmly believe the tram project is in the best interests of the city’s current and future residents and, as an administration, we will do everything in our power to make sure it’s delivered on time and on budget.”

Green transport spokesman, Councillor Chas Booth, said: “We believe the time to complete the job is now.”

The extension is funded by a loan secured against future income and a £20m dividend from the council-owned Lothian Buses.