A NEW video promoting Edinburgh’s tram project was unveiled yesterday – as the city council finally confirmed launch date for the service could be brought forward.
The five-minute film has been produced to show the rate of progress on the truncated route of the first phase of the scheme, due to run from Edinburgh Airport to the city centre.
As well as footage of work in progress along various sections of the route, the video also features computer-generated images showing how trams will run once the scheme is finished.
The video has been unveiled days after it emerged £669 million has been spent on the project so far, despite a new budget of £776m being set last year and trams not due to start running until the summer of 2014.
City transport leader Lesley Hinds gave the strongest hint yet that the project is running ahead of schedule and could get underway well before then.
She said: “If we can bring the start date back earlier than the summer of 2014 then we will do that.”
A row erupted at yesterday’s full council meeting at the City Chambers amid claims that updated figures in a new report were inaccurate - an allegation strenuously denied by Mrs Hinds.
The report says test runs on the full airport-York Place route are scheduled to start “by early 2014”, with chief executive Sue Bruce pledging “every effort” will be made to start passenger services earlier than currently planned.
Although work on most sections of the route is due to continue for well over a year, test runs will be carried out between the airport and the tram depot at Gogarburn within the next few weeks.