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Daytime tests planned for trams

Trams are set to become a familiar sight in Edinburgh city centre as testing is stepped up.

Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are being warned to be alert as daytime runs begin along the tram route in the next few days.

Testing during the day had previously only been carried out between Edinburgh Park and the airport.

After more than six years of construction, the trams are due to begin transporting passengers by May.

Councillor Lesley Hinds, transport convener for Edinburgh Council, said: "Up until now, trams have only been running at night when the city centre roads are much quieter.

"Daytime tests aren't far away and it'll take some time for people to get used to seeing trams running on streets, so we're asking drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to take extra care while everyone becomes familiar.

"I've seen first hand in Dublin how trams interact with traffic and, as progress continues to be made along the route, it'll be important that people are aware of the differences.

"The client target May service launch is drawing ever closer but there are still many important tests and a driver training programme to complete."

Multiple tram test journeys will be carried out along the full line this week.

The council and Transport for Edinburgh have produced a series of online safety videos and tips as part of an awareness campaign as the launch date approaches.

Tom Norris, Edinburgh Trams director and general manager, said: "Our team have been training extremely hard and we're now ready to move into a phase where many more trams start to run along the route.

"Safety is our first priority and our drivers are all fully aware that other road users need time to get used to interacting with the new trams. Our main message is that trams are big and quiet so give them space, look before you cross the road and listen for the bell."

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