It has been confirmed that testing of Edinburgh Trams will commence between Gogar depot and Edinburgh Park from Tuesday 8th October as the project continues to make good progress ahead of a planned for opening in May 2014. The City of Edinburgh Council have started a major publicity campaign advising local residents of the extension of the testing so there isn’t too much shock when a tram suddenly appears!
Signs are being put up advising pedestrians of the testing to make them aware of the presence of trams to try and avoid any unnecessary accidents. A further, more comprehensive, safety and awareness programme will be launched later this year ahead of full system testing.
Eventually there will be up to 150 tram movements a week (five days a week only) between Gogar and Edinburgh Park but this level will be not be reached immediately as a gradual increase in testing is to be take place.
Cllr Lesley Hinds, the Council’s Transport Convener, said: “This is another significant step in the tram project and moves us closer towards completion. It will take some time for people to get used to seeing trams running on street and both pedestrians and drivers will need to take extra care while everyone becomes familiar with them. I’ve seen firsthand in Dublin how trams interact with traffic and as progress continues to be made along the route, it’ll be important that people are aware of the differences. The target for service launch is now May 2014 but we’ll bring this forward if we can. However, it’s important to recognise the significance of this testing, commissioning and driver training programme. There is much to be done and it’s vital that all the appropriate tests and checks are made.”