Edinburgh tram drivers to be employed 18 months before the system opens?

More controversy has been caused in Edinburgh with the news that ten drivers and controllers and a General Manager for the tram system are to employed by the end of this year – at least 18 months before the system will actually carry passengers. Although the need to employ drivers before the system is obvious so that training and testing can take place many critics of the project have asked why so many are needed so early and just what they will be doing as there isn’t a huge amount of track currently in situ which they can drive the trams on!

It is planned that by the end of this year there will be up to ten drivers and controllers in position for the purposes of testing and commissioning. Of these two drivers and controllers and expected to be in position by the end of this month with the remainder being in position by 9th December. The salary for these positions is due to be in the range of £25,000.

As well as the driver and controller positions an advert has also gone out for the role of General Manager of the tram system with a salary in the region of £70,000 to £80,000. This job will also start as soon as possible but most people can probably see the need for this role this early more than the drivers.

Cllr Steve Cardownie, Deputy Leader of the Council, apparently knew nothing of the plan to employ the drivers yet as he claimed the first he saw of it was when it was in the local press! He commented: “Certainly I’ll be asking questions of the chief executive. No-one told me that this would be happening and it comes as an unpleasant surprise to hear it from the Evening News. At the end of the day there’s not even that much track for them to be trained on and given that the trams won’t begin running until summer 2014, it seems to be too early. It may be that the time period is justified, but no-one has given us information on how long it takes to train a driver.”

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4 Responses to Edinburgh tram drivers to be employed 18 months before the system opens?

  1. TM says:

    4-6 weeks to train a driver…

    • DB says:

      Perhaps 4-6 weeks in the back garden! London Tramlink takes about 13 weeks.

      • TM says:

        The comments were based on fact; Nottingham takes 4-6 weeks which is a similar size and with similar operational constraints to Edinburgh, Croydon is more complex hence the longer training duration.

  2. Miketap says:

    Presumably there will be a cascade system; the first batch to be trained will then be responsible for taking out the next batch for training. The timescale seems reasonable for a major new line.

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