Civic leaders have declared Edinburgh's troubled trams system "ready to roll" as they confirmed the service would be going live at the end of the month.

As reported by The Herald yesterday, the trams will finally start service on May 31, at a cost of £776 million.

The first tram will leave the Gyle Shopping Centre at 5am bound for York Place in the city centre.

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It follows six years of building work and problems, including a long-running dispute between the council and its contractor.

The controversial project has seen the construction of a line from Edinburgh Airport to York Place.

Trams have become a familiar site in the capital recently, with testing of the system ongoing since March.

Edinburgh Council transport convenor Lesley Hinds said: "We are very pleased to be able to confirm today that passenger services on Edinburgh Trams will begin from 5am on Saturday May 31 - we're ready to roll. I've been contacted by a great many residents eager to know when they'll be able to start using the trams and I'm sure now that the official start date is known, we'll see that anticipation build further."

A full timetable and ticket prices will be announced later this month.

Transport minister Keith Brown said: "Now that we have a confirmed date for the first passenger service it's time to look forward with confidence and for the trams to give something back to Edinburgh."