UK & World News
Edinburgh's Long-Awaited Trams Hit The Tracks
The Scottish capital's newly-finished trams have taken their first paying passengers, marking an end to a long-running saga over ballooning costs and massive construction delays.
Trams trundled through the streets of Edinburgh for the first time in 58 years on Saturday as the new service was opened to the public.
The line, which runs from Edinburgh Airport to York Place, left Gyle shopping centre at 5am bound for the city centre.
The sight of the trams on the city's streets will come as relief to many who have witnessed six years of disruption and delays, in part due to a bitter dispute between the council and the contractor.
The controversial project was due to have been in operation by 2010 and was initially planned to be considerably larger.
However, spiralling costs meant it was slimmed back to just one line.†
The project ultimately cost £776m, double the figure originally†anticipated, leading to calls for a public inquiry.
Those involved in the scheme now hope the controversy is behind them.
Edinburgh City Council transport convener Lesley Hinds said: "The tram project has been hugely challenging for the people of Edinburgh but now there seems to be a growing positivity in the city about the start of a brand new transport service.
"I know from first hand experience how trams can transform and enhance a city and I'm determined Edinburgh should make the very most of the opportunities ahead."
The service costs £5 for a single trip from the airport and £8 for a return.