The next stage of testing on Edinburgh Trams is set to start this week with the commencement of daylight testing into the city centre for the first time. Up until now any testing which has taken place on the city centre line has been done overnight to minimise disruption for these key initial runs but they have not reached a stage where daytime testing can proceed.
Exact details of when the first daylight tests will take place have yet to be revealed but Edinburgh Trams will be letting people know in advance through their official website and social media outlets. The City of Edinburgh Council are also teaming up with Edinburgh Trams to produce a series of safety videos for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in advance of the start of testing to ensure that everyone is prepared.
Cllr Lesley Hinds, Transport Convener for the Council, said: “Up until now, trams have only been running at night when the city centre roads are much quieter. Daytime tests aren’t far away and it’ll take some time for people to get used to seeing trams running on streets so we’re asking drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to take extra care while everyone becomes familiar. I’ve seen first hand 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 Client Target May service launch is drawing ever closer but there are still many important tests and a driver training programme to complete. It’s also the right time to remember some straightforward but very important safety messages.”
Tom Norris, Edinburgh Trams Director and General Manager, added: “Our team have been training extremely hard and we’re now ready to move into a phase where many more trams start to run along the route. Safety is our first priority and our drivers are all fully aware that other road users need time to get used to interacting with the new trams. Our main message is that trams are big and quiet so give them space, look before you cross the road and listen for the bell.”
As previously reported there will be a gradual increase of tram movements so that all users of the streets can get used to the change before eventually a fairly regular service is provided ahead of the official opening. Edinburgh Trams still remains on target for a May opening.
* The news section of the Edinburgh Trams website has recently been updated with a new blog from Tom Norris – Director and General Manager- updating users on the latest progress and an interview with one of the drivers already employed for the line. You can find links to these at http://www.edinburghtrams.com/news