At last we will begin to see the trams further away from the airport than the depot at Gogar. Trams have to undergo rigorous testing which will now extend out to Edinburgh Park.
Residents, commuters and pedestrians are being reminded that tram testing is due to begin between Gogar depot and Edinburgh Park Station on Tuesday 8 October 2013.
As part of the testing process, which will continue until the service is operational (targeted for May 2014), trams will cross the road at two locations, Lochside Avenue and South Gyle Broadway. Traffic lights and pedestrian crossings will be in operation and the normal rules of the road will apply.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’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.”
The Council has contacted employers and businesses in Edinburgh Park, Hermiston Gait and the Gyle Centre to advise them of the testing process and that trams will be operating under test through these sections of track where signs for pedestrians will be put up at key interfaces.
Later this year the Council will launch a city-wide safety and awareness campaign ahead of full route testing beginning in December.
The testing phase between the Gogar depot and Edinburgh Park Station will eventually see in excess of 150 tram test journeys along the line each day (five days per week). This will be a gradual build up in tram movements over a period of time which will allow everyone to get used to the new arrangements.
Residents are being reminded to take the following safety precautions:
- Trams move quietly and quickly, with a top speed of 70kmh (45mph) on off road sections. Speed limits apply on the road.
- Look both ways at tram crossing locations for passing trams and other vehicles.
- Tram crossings should be treated like any other traffic signal controlled junction, where yellow box keep clear areas, road signs and traffic signals should be obeyed.
- Overhead power lines are live at all times at 750V dc so do not go near them.
- Children should be supervised and dogs should be kept on leads around tram crossing locations.
The project remains in line with the revised budget (£776m) approved by the Council in September 2011, with work either ahead of schedule or in line with the revised timescale reported in December 2011.
The Council’s project team has forecast that the service will be up and running for passengers by May 2014, two months earlier than the original summer 2014 target.
For more updates on the Edinburgh Tram project, visit www.edinburgh.gov.uk/trams