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Tram fares rise ahead of service's launch

TRAM fares to Edinburgh Airport are being increased even before the first fee-paying passenger has set foot on board the service.

New price lists reveal a return journey to the airport has risen to £8, a 50 pence increase on fares announced last September and £1 more expensive than the Airlink bus service.

Single journeys to the airport will cost £5.

The prices, announced yesterday, contrast with the £1.50 flat fare across the rest of the tram network.

It comes as fresh details emerged about the payment process and wi-fi access on Edinburgh trams. Passengers can scan a pre-paid card - dubbed Citysmart - for single journeys within the city fare zone, meaning journeys can now be stockpiled. Tickets can also be purchased via mobile phone but the lowest prices are available on the Ridacard that offers unlimited travel on trams and buses.

Despite reports in January of free wi-fi across the tram fleet, only three trams are likely to be internet-equipped before the £776m project launches on May 31.

It is understood remaining carriages will be installed in the weeks and months following the launch date.

Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said that dovetailing journeys between bus and tram would be "straightforward" using a smartcard or day ticket.

l A landlord has quit the pub he ran for a decade in the West End of Edinburgh, claiming tramworks cost him £1m in turnover.

Graham Blaikie has left the Mercat Bar in West Maitland Street saying roadworks and the re-direction of buses to allow for tramworkds hit business.

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