Millions of tram travellers cut from forecasts

Secret forecasts drawn up for Edinburgh City Council predict 5.4 million people a year will use the service between the airport and St Andrew Square in the city centre when it opens in 2014.

That compares to a forecast of nearly 12 million passengers travelling each year on the full 11-mile route, including the section from the city centre to Leith and Newhaven Harbour that was mothballed last year.

The figures, disclosed to The Herald following a Freedom of Information request that was ultimately referred to Scotland’s Information Commissioner, illustrate the long-term difficulties created by cutting off developments east of the city centre that the trams were to serve.

Read the full article at The Herald Scotland

Spare trams ‘should be used as late-night couriers for parcels’

They have already scoured Europe in an unsuccessful bid to off-load their unwanted tram cars.

Now city council leaders in Edinburgh want to turn the £2 million vehicles into “nocturnal couriers” to save them from redundancy.

The Scotsman has learned goods could be ferried between Edinburgh Airport and locations along the route into the city centre under a plan being floated with business groups.

Seven trams are already being tested at the recently-completed depot at Gogarburn, but another 20 are on their way to join them, even though at least half will not be needed. The scheme is planned to open in 2014. SNP councillors, who performed a major U-turn last year to rescue the tram project when it was on the verge of cancellation, are believed to be opposed to the idea of trams running through the night to deliver goods, deeming it “unworkable”.

Read the full article at The Scotsman