Comment: ‘People gain from trams’

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We’ve been waiting years to write a headline like the one on today’s front page.

Like everyone else, we’ve been desperate for good news on the trams - and now we have some.

There are plenty who will say, “we’ll believe it when we see it”.

And no one can blame them for that reaction. The new targets still have to be met and we all know that this project and deadlines have not had a happy relationship to say the least.

But we can take heart from the council’s caution in recent months when it has come to pronouncements on the project.

Quite rightly our city leaders have been extremely hesitant to put their names to any new delivery dates for fear of missing another deadline.

One thing that we can be sure of is that they are supremely confident of meeting the targets they have set themselves today.

Indeed there are still genuine hopes that passenger services will be running much earlier than May, perhaps as early as February. But let’s not count our chickens..

The impact of the tram work on communities and businesses across the city over the last six years has been horrendous. There is no getting away from that. Years of false promises and spiralling costs have left deep scars which will take years to heal.

But now at last we have a chance to look forward as well as back.

The opening of the tram line represents a huge opportunity for Edinburgh – and it is one which we must now grab with both hands.Those parts of the city which are served by the tram line can look forward to the benefits of a modern, integrated transport system and the economic boost that comes with that.

The focus now must be on making the most of that and ensuring that as many people as possible gain from what is finally being 
delivered.