Leader: ‘It all adds to a real feeling of progress’

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IT is the only Christmas present traders in Princes Street – and many New Town residents – wanted. Edinburgh’s famous thoroughfare will reopen fully as planned this weekend as the tram works disappear.

It will enable the street to become the centre of the Capital’s festive celebrations rather than the focus of ire over the tram project.

And the reopening is another important milestone on the way to finally getting this thing up and running.

Testing will begin outside the Gogar depot for the first time next week and, while you won’t be able to catch a tram to the airport, you will at least be able to imagine what it will be like as it trundles past.

The new traffic management arrangements will also come as a relief to residents of Albany Street and Abercromby Place left under-siege since the York Place closure. While their streets won’t quite be back to normal, the winding route through the New Town will no longer be an “official” diversion. It all adds to a real feeling of progress, which is something not commonly associated with the project.

The city council will be hoping that as the public starts to see this progress, they will buy into the scheme as a modern transport system of which the city can be proud. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but it will be a lot easier if the current momentum continues.

Dare we hope that the tram might actually be running ahead of schedule by next Christmas?

Happy birthday

every parent will shudder as they read the remarkable story of young Maiya Sutherland.

To think that something as simple as a sneeze could have triggered the stroke which almost killed the lively three-year-old is truly frightening.

Thankfully this story has a happy ending as Maiya is making an incredible recovery from her dramatic ordeal.

And that is largely down to the outstanding skills and professionalism of medics at the Sick Kids. Without this amazing facility, the outcome could have been so different for the Sutherlands, and so many other families.

It is stories like this which inspired the News to help the Sick Kids Friends Foundation celebrate their 20th anniversary in style.

We hope you will join us in wishing them a happy birthday and lending your support in the months and years ahead.

And watch out in the New Year for a chance to honour the heroes of the Sick Kids.