Pedestrians warned as Edinburgh Tram tests increase

PEDESTRIANS were warned today not to cross in front of trams by Edinburgh City Council as it announced line testing would go seven days a week and increased in frequency from Monday.

Edinburgh tram testing on Princes St. Picture: TSPL

Officials said some people were “still taking unnecessary risks”, such as several who stepped out between buses to cross as a tram approached.

Other pedestrians made a dash across tram lines without waiting for the green man.

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The council, which is charge of the eight-mile Edinburgh Airport-York Place line, has launched a new safety campaign on social media such as Facebook and Twitter called #carefulnow.

Edinburgh tram testing on Princes St. Picture: TSPL

The £776 million tram scheme is due to start carrying fare-paying passengers next month, with the council pledged to give four weeks’ notice of the launch date.

Night-time tram testing started in December, followed by daytime runs since February.

The council also warned drivers they face a £180 charge if parked cars blocking tram lines had to be towed away.

A tow truck has been put on standby “to respond swiftly to any incidents”.

Two vehicles have been towed away so far, from West Maitland Street and York Place.

City council transport convener Lesley Hinds said: “Trams have become a much more common sight in the city centre over the last few weeks, which has given us all a chance to get used to sharing the roads with this new mode of transport.

“From Monday, we’ll see many more trams out testing right the way through the week and over the weekend as well.

“It’s a good time to remind everyone how they can keep safe when walking, cycling or driving near trams.”

Edinburgh Trams director and general manager Tom Norris said: “Testing and training have been going really well and it’s good to see most people are interacting sensibly with the trams.

“Our drivers are driving very carefully to cope with the unpredictable behaviour of some road users, however.

“It’s vital everyone heeds the warning bell and people wait for the green man and don’t gamble.

“As we get ready to start testing seven days a week at a much greater frequency, we want to see the #carefulnow messages shared as widely as possible.”