We’re delighted to see the return today of tram services in Edinburgh to Leith and Newhaven. The completion of the original ‘Line 1’ from the Airport to Newhaven must now be built upon with swift political action to deliver a north-south line linking Granton to the Royal Infirmary.
Transform Scotland policy advisor Nigel Bagshaw commented:
“To point out that the first stage of the tram project’s implementation was a farce would be a massive understatement. The delays, contractual disputes, funding issues and general mismanagement are all very well documented.
“However, there is no doubt that hard lessons have been learnt and the extension has been completed on time and on budget, despite problems relating to COVID and the war in Ukraine. The team leading the construction work have shown a real clarity of purpose with their grounded, practical and professional approach.
“To date the tram operations overall have been a huge success environmentally, socially and economically. Passenger numbers are impressive, operations are smooth and customer satisfaction levels are high. They take cars off the roads, provide ease of access, and link up significant new developments.
“What we need to do now is to draw up plans to develop a city-wide tram network which can be coordinated properly with bus services to provide the greatest possible level of public-transport mobility for all. Trams are clearly the answer to providing the backbone to Edinburgh’s transport system, so let’s crack on and build more.”
Transform Scotland played an important role in advocating for light rail to be added back into Scotland’s public transport mix, as well as keeping earlier phases of the Edinburgh trams project on course when various misguided political interests sought to cancel the scheme.