Edinburgh Trams

Walking along Princes Street today was the first time that I really put on my ‘journalism eyes’ to have a look at anything interesting I could write about.

Something that I had walked past many times for the past few weeks, but hadn’t really noticed, was the large tram sitting slap bang in the middle of Princes Street. I was curious to find out more about the tram and how it would affect Edinburgh so I decided to investigate further.

It turns out that the tram on Princes Street is one of 27 that will be servicing Edinburgh in the near future. Each tram is precisely 42.8 metres in length and will be able to hold up to 250 passengers at a time. According to http://www.edinburghtrams.com, it will total 45 minutes to cover the entire route from Edinburgh Airport, through the city and ending at the Waterfront. In addition to the convenience the trams will provide, they will also create over 300 operational jobs as well as a predicted 600 new jobs in the city due to the improved connectivity they will bring.

The trams have also been built with minimal noise-pollution in mind, the wheels using lubrication on tight corners to prevent ‘wheel squeal.’ Plus, the added bonus of no on-street emissions and a low energy consumption due to ‘regenerative braking,’ (where braking energy is used to power different trains) means that the trams are environmentally friendly too.

To me, the trams seem like a great idea to improve transport ease and efficiency in the city. Although this may be old news to locals, I am new to the city and being the public transport lover that I am, can’t wait to try out the trams for myself.

The tram system is scheduled for completion in 2012.

Sam Eastop.

(Information sourced from http://www.edinburghtrams.com)

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9 Responses

  1. As someone who has been in Edinburgh for much of the time during which the trams have been worked on, its nice to hear someone with a more positive outlook… I think there are still a lot of problems with the funding to be solved though. Heres an article from The Scotsman about it http://news.scotsman.com/news/Edinburgh-Trams-cost-fears-as.6496252.jp

  2. I’m looking forward to the arrival of the trams. Its always a good feeling to glide over a street,without having to go through the trouble of moonwalking. Also, more jobs are a good thing!!

    • Definitely, it will be shmooooth sailing! (Except on a tram, not a boat. And on a road, not water.)
      Exactly, I couldn’t seem to find many negative aspects of the trams at all.

  3. I was very upset last year when many businesses in leith and the west end were forced to close down due to the tram works. There were lots of websites set up at the time, but this blog – http://www.snptacticalvoting.com/2010/06/edinburgh-trams.html briefly looks at the issue and says “I don’t know how a business can survive when footfall drops some 70%-80% for a significant period of time and, of course, many didn’t and have since gone to the wall. They are the victims in a battle that as yet has produced few heroes.”

    • Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Danielle. I hadn’t heard about the disruption that the tram works had caused. Although, being new to Edinburgh, I probably would have done if I lived more locally.
      On the surface, I couldn’t find many negative repercussions that the tram works were causing but admittedly, I could have dug a little deeper.
      But thank you anyway for putting that forward, it’s good to hear (and read) another side to the argument.

  4. I find that the people who are most excited about the Trams are the people who are not actually from Edinburgh and so have not fully experienced all the trouble they are causing.
    The main anti-tram argument I have is that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the bus service before. In fact, in 2008 Lothian Buses was named Best Transport Provider in Britain at the National Transport Awards in London. The phrase ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ springs to mind. Now what was once the best bus service in the country has turned into a complete shambles and is getting more and more expensive to use thanks to the trams.
    And if you’d like to hear more arguments in much more graphic terms than I have used, just ask an Edinburgh taxi driver what they think on the matter!

    • I totally understand this argument. Since writing this blog, I have spoken to more people who all have different views on the matter. Some originally from Edinburgh, some not.
      I did write this blog with an intent to inform rather than persuade as being new to Edinburgh myself, I was interested to find out more about the trams.
      But thanks for putting those points across, I am interested to hear as many views of the topic as possible. I’m not trying to fight for either side, my views are based purely on personal experience.

  5. I grew up in Croydon, South London, where the Croydon Tramlink was introduced in 2000 and used trams to get to school everyday for six years. I am a great believer that once the tram system is up and running in Edinburgh the local peoples’ opinion of it will change drastically.

    In Croydon, the transport system was not up to scratch before the Tramlink was introduced. The Tramlink covers the whole of Croydon, as well as Wimbledon and Beckenham and has improved the transport in the area tenfold.

    It takes four million car journeys off the road and carries twenty two million passengers every year, not only helping the environment but also reducing traffic congestion.

    They produce very little noise pollution, and are the most environmentally friendly form of public transport possible in today’s world.

    They are reliable, affordable and, having seen the way they improved transport in South London, I truly believe that they will transform the public transport system in Edinburgh as well.

    Also, as a new resident of Edinburgh I have been very impressed with the bus system here. I find the regularity of the buses here unbelievable. The fares are also, in my opinion, very cheap. In Fife, where I have lived for the past four years it costs £7.30 for a return between St Andrews and Dundee and £4.75 for a single between St Andrews and Auchtermuchty, a trip which takes thirty minutes in a car but ninety minutes in a bus. A day ticket in Fife costs £6.80. I am delighted to be able to spend £3.00 to travel on buses around Edinburgh for a whole day, particularly when I rarely have to wait more than ten minutes for a bus here.

    • Thanks for your positive input. I agree with what you are saying as often a new ‘system’ only becomes popular after it is up and running. There are always going to be some people in favour of change, and some opposed to it.

      And I know exactly what you mean with the buses. It used to cost me £5.80 to get into work! And the buses were every hour.

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