Edinburgh's trams take another lurch forward today with the start of tram testing between Gogar depot and Edinburgh Park Station. The testing phase will eventually see in excess of 150 tram test journeys along the line each day (five days per week).
Trams will be tested until the line becomes fully operational, expected to be May 2014, but possibly sooner.
Trams, as part of this testing, will cross the road at two locations, Lochside Avenue and South Gyle Broadway. The Council advises that 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: “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."
She added: “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 will launch a city-wide safety and awareness campaign ahead of full route testing beginning in December.
In the meantime, here's some advice from the Council on how to not get injured by a tram.
- 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.