Leader: Milestone short of a champagne moment

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EDINBURGH’S first tram has arrived at the Gogar depot at last – brand new, gleaming – and, all too predictably, two hours late.

Its appearance – nearer 1pm than the 11am scheduled arrival – could be taken as a metaphor for this jinxed project, if only the streets of Scotland’s capital were not already littered with metaphors and a good deal else besides.

To be fair, it was a very long and arduous journey. It began with manufacturer CAD in Irun, northern Spain, a long haul to Amsterdam, then on to a boat bound for Newcastle, then decanted on to the back of three flatbed lorries and driven up the A1.

Manoeuvring was awkward and the driving rain in Scotland hardly helpful. It fell to Jenny Dawe, leader of Edinburgh council, to lift the mood: “The delivery of the first tram to the depot”, she declared, “is an important milestone for the project. It illustrates how far we have come since mediation and the good progress that has been made in driving the project forward in such a short period of time.”

Few would recognise the project in those words. Was the thrill so intense? Had she bumped her head as the tram was being lifted off the lorry? Let’s not get too carried away and keep the Bollinger in the depot for now. There are 26 more trams still to arrive.