Edinburgh trams ‘will be as quick as buses’

An Edinburgh tram on a test run. Picture: Neil Hanna
An Edinburgh tram on a test run. Picture: Neil Hanna
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TRAM chiefs in the capital have insisted that the new service should be as speedy as the airport express bus – despite claims it could be eight minutes slower.

Edinburgh City Council has come under fire from Marco Biagi, Edinburgh Central MSP, who claimed the new line will be “an overpriced downgrade”, on the Airlink service.

Tram vehicles running from Edinburgh Airport to York Place in the city centre are expected to complete the trip in about 33 minutes.

It had been claimed that this would be significantly longer than the 25-minute trip advertised by Lothian Buses.

“The average airport visitor wants to get into the city as quickly as possible and they’re not going to choose the tram if it’s slower,” he said.

“How will the trams break even financially if they don’t even have the airport market?”

However, it is understood that the 25-minute target was dropped by bus chiefs several years ago and that the average Airlink trip is 30-34 minutes.

Council leaders have suggested that the tram is likely to be quicker during rush hour.

Lesley Hinds, the city’s transport leader, said: “The tram will have priority at junctions within the city.”