TRAMS are to start daytime test runs in Edinburgh city centre in around two weeks, The Scotsman has learned.
It will mean trams will operate in everyday traffic for the first time, in the run-up to going into passenger service, scheduled for May.
The driver training and line testing will involve trams getting priority over other vehicles at junctions, with traffic lights turning red as they approach.
So far, trams have only been tested at night on the street section of the eight-mile route, between Haymarket and York Place, off St Andrew Square.
Daytime testing has already started on the off-street section, between Haymarket and Edinburgh Airport.
City council leader Andrew Burns, in a report to a council meeting today, said: “Trams are currently only passing through the city centre during the night, allowing important tests and checks to be carried out, but very soon we’ll see trams during the day as well.
“Our safety awareness campaign is already under way, but you’ll see more activity before the daytime tests begin.”
Conservative transport spokeswoman and city centre councillor Joanna Mowat said: “Anticipation is growing as we await the arrival of the trams on street for daylight testing and training, which will take the trams out of the realm of the mythical and bring them into the real.
“It will also be a time of testing and adjustment for everyone near the on-street tram route.
“We will need to get used to looking out for trams as they become part of the city’s traffic.“