Edinburgh Trams named ‘Operator of the year’

Lesley Hinds and Ian Craig. Picture: Esme Allen
Lesley Hinds and Ian Craig. Picture: Esme Allen
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Edinburgh Trams has been named the world’s ‘Operator of the year’ at the 2015 Light Rail Awards

The troubled project - which saw a vast contruction bill rise from an initial £375 million for two lines to £776m for just part of a single line - launched in May 2014 and made a loss of £1.3m in its first year.

Last night’s awards have been hailed by tram chiefs, which they say “recognise excellence and innovations in the light and urban rail sector across the world”.

The trams are currently the subject of an inquiry, and have left the city with a £5.8 million annual bill to pay off the interest on borrowing for the £776m network before making any dent reimbursing actual loans.

Transport Convener Lesley Hinds said: “Everyone at Edinburgh Trams can take great pride in what they have achieved. The team have put in a huge effort to make Edinburgh’s new tram service a success and they deserve all the credit for this award.”

Ian Craig, Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, said: “This is fantastic news for the Edinburgh Trams team who have put in so much work to launch the service and to make it a success.

“Initiating and running a brand new operation comes with many challenges and Edinburgh Trams has risen to them all. It’s great to be recognised by the industry in this way and, with passenger satisfaction ratings among the best in the UK, we know our customers like what we do too.”

Edinburgh Trams has also been shortlisted in the Rail Operator of the Year category at the UK National Transport Awards which take place this evening.

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