First Section Of Tram Line Handed Over

The first completed section of the Edinburgh tram project has been handed from the builders to the council.

Transport Minister Keith Brown and Edinburgh Council transport convener Lesley Hinds were among the first passengers to take a trip on the line.

They marked the handover by travelling on the 1.7-mile route (2.8km) from the tram depot at Gogar to Edinburgh Airport.

The trams are due to be ready for public use from summer next year.

Ms Hinds said the handover marks a significant milestone in the project. Construction work on the rest of the line is expected to be completed by the end of this year, followed by testing and commissioning early next year.

``The coming months will see on-street works completed, full-line tram testing and driver training along the whole route. It's a big year for the project and we can push on safe in the knowledge that this first 2.8km section has been successfully completed and is working well,'' she said.

``Very good progress is being made but there is still some on-street disruption to come and we're determined to limit this as much as possible. Our team will stay in close contact with residents and businesses so they have the information they need to limit the impact of the remaining works.''

Mr Brown said: ``This is further evidence that the project is now making good progress in terms of the revised timetable. The people of Edinburgh and local business community should now be able to plan ahead with confidence and look forward to seeing further evidence of the project coming to fruition over the coming months.''

The council said the trams project remains both within the revised budget of £776 million and inside the revised timescale.