Edinburgh Airport launches new tram system for passengers

Edinburgh Airport has joined its City partners to officially launch the new Edinburgh tram system – a major milestone for Edinburgh’s transport infrastructure.

The new tram system will offer passengers increased choice for travel to and from Scotland’s busiest airport, and will start carrying passengers from May 31. Passengers will be able to get to and from the airport’s terminal and the centre of Edinburgh in just 25 minutes, the airport said.

The first tram will arrive at Edinburgh Airport every morning at 06:15, aimed at helping business travellers reach the airport and board their flights. The first departing tram will leave Edinburgh Airport at 06:18. The 8.7 mile (14km) route stretches from Edinburgh airport to York Place in the city centre, with 15 stops – including Haymarket, Murrayfield and Edinburgh Park train station – along the route.

Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: ‘This weekend marks the culmination of a huge amount of hard work to get the tram project officially up and running and we’re delighted to be reaching this milestone together with our City partners.

‘We’re committed to offering our passengers choice, not only of where they can fly to, but of how they can travel to and from our airport. The trams will offer customers yet another option and mean people from all over Scotland can travel to Edinburgh Airport faster and more efficiently than ever before.

While Edinburgh has been considering the idea of bringing back trams to Edinburgh’s crowded streets for several years, it was in September 2003 that the project officially set off with the trams expected to be operational by 2009.

Over five years behind schedule, but according to Dewar: ‘The introduction of the tram comes at a time of exceptional growth for Edinburgh Airport and follows the launch of three new major long-haul routes within the last week. Passengers from the US, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, Asia and China will now be able to make full use of Edinburgh’s excellent transport infrastructure whether that’s travelling by bus, tram, train or taxi.

‘We’re about to enjoy what will be a phenomenal summer for Scotland and it’s a pleasure to be welcome, and be working with, our new colleagues at Transport for Edinburgh who share our vision of ensuring that our vibrant and exciting capital city remains one of the top places on everyone’s list to visit.’


Midland Metro Wins Safety Award

Midland Metro, a UK tram system operated by National Express, a subsidiary of Travel West Midlands, for Centro, the transport authority, has been given an award for its passenger safety measures.

The Secured by Design organisation and the Association of Chief Police Officers have awarded Midland Metro with a Safer Tram Stop Award for its system. The award recognises a number of initiatives recently offered by the Safer Travel Partnership, including Centro, West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and National Express, for increased passenger safety on the networks.

Councillor Roger Horton, the lead member for Transforming Rail in Centro, said, ‘The Safer Travel Partnership has been highly successful in reducing crime on the region’s transport system and this award is a reflection of their commitment.

It is also encouraging how passengers have recognised and supported the extra CCTV at stops as well as the additional help points and police patrols that have helped make the Metro such a safe form of transport.’

The acting inspector for British Transport Police, Chris Casey, said, ‘We are pleased that all Midland Metro tram stops have been accredited under this scheme.

Improving security is extremely important as it reduces the opportunities for criminals, while passengers feel safer while using the tram stops.

We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that there is a safe and secure environment on the Midland Metro network at all times.’

The Safer Travel Partnership, operating for passenger safety in bus, Metro and train journeys, offers a texting service, where passengers may text ‘bus’, ‘metro’ or ‘rail’, followed by a space and details of any incident in the UK, with time, date, location and route number, to 83010.