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Director says service continuing to improve

Trams boss expects to carry 3 million passengers this year

Edinburgh TramsEdinburgh Trams director Tom Norris says the service has beaten its budget and passenger forecasts and is hopeful that three million passengers will use it by the end of the year.

In an end of year progress report he acknowledges the controversial project has suffered teething problems, but says he is delighted with overall performance and with the largely positive feedback from users.

“From testing to operations, Murrayfield events, incidents, collisions and lightning strikes, I can safely say we’ve had a fair bit on our plate,” he says.

The £776 million project began operating on 31 May, three years late and vastly over budget. After resolving contractual issues city councillors decided to proceed with a truncated service.

“As we moved into the summer we started to experience the first incidents and service interruptions. As with all new transport systems, we expected these kind of things to happen and did our very best to manage every situation,” says Norris.

“I’m glad to say that as each week has gone on, our reliability and performance has continued to improve. The festival period, Murrayfield events and various other city events provided us with significant challenges as we moved through the period. I’m pleased we managed to continue to deliver a safe and reliable service during these times and this has been reflected in the most recent releases of passenger information.

“We continue to exceed our budget this year for both passengers journeys and revenue. By the end of the year, all being well, we may exceed 3 million passenger journeys. Our safety record and service punctuality remains strong and we are planning a big campaign in the early new year focussed on other road users.

“Disruption caused by collisions continues to be the biggest impact on our passengers, and in all cases so far I believe there has been nothing our drivers could have done to avoid the situation.

“There is still much work to do and with every tweet from one of our passengers, to the in-depth reviews we do post a service interruption, we will continue to refine our service and look for areas of improvement.”

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