Edinburgh Trams to become freight vehicles?

As the City of Edinburgh Council continue to try and find work for their surplus trams – with at least half of the 27 CAF vehicles ordered likely to not initially be needed – they have come up with a strange plan which would see some of them converted into “nocturnal couriers” or freight trams running during the night to you and me. However the Scottish National Party are said to be against this idea as they believe it to be unworkable.

The news that the Council are looking into this ambitious plan has been reported on The
Scotsman
website (http://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/spare_trams_should_be_used_as_late_night_couriers_for_parcels_1_2136370). They report that the idea has been discussed between the Council and local business groups and that the plan would see several trams turned into “nocturnal couriers” moving goods between the Airport and locations on the route of the tramway.

Cllr Gordon Mackenzie, Transport convener on the City of Edinburgh Council, admitted that they were looking at the idea but stressed that discussions were only at a very early stage: “This is something we have discussed with the business community, but only very informally. The idea is still at an early stage and there would be some hurdles to overcome, but it would obviously reduce the number of unnecessary HGV journeys in and out of the city centre at night-time.”

However Gordon Henderson, development manager at the Federation of Small Businesses, was rather bemused by the idea: ““Is this the silly season? It would seem bizarre if the council was to try to fill holes in its budgets by setting up something like this that would compete with the private sector. There would also be a limit to the number of areas that could be served.”

Although this idea does seem rather unlikely to actually come up the City of Edinburgh
Council should be applauded for trying to find work for the surplus trams, of which the article states there are now seven at the Gogar Depot.

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