Trams: Child found playing with loose power line

The boy's parents were horrified that access panels were left open. Picture: Greg Macvean
The boy's parents were horrified that access panels were left open. Picture: Greg Macvean
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WORKMEN have been carpeted after a two-year-old was found playing with loose electrical cabling at a city tram stop.

The boy’s parents received a terrifying fright after he ran over to the stop at St Andrew Square and started handling the exposed wires.

The cables, which are connected to underground ducts, were hanging out of an upright metal pole on the platform.

The lad’s outraged parents filed a written complaint to the city council – prompting trams chiefs to admit the situation was a serious “oversight” on the part of contractors.

However, they insisted the child had never been in danger, as the power supply for that stretch of the £776 million tram line has not been connected.

The child’s father wrote: “I am utterly flabbergasted and aghast that this bright yellow electrical wiring and other services for this tram stop could be left exposed in such a manner available for any inquisitive person to investigate, especially a young child with it being at a perfect height and colour for them.

“I also cannot believe the council can be so neglectful with such preparatory tram works and I am sure you must be liable for this.

“I dread to think what tragic consequences could have resulted from this had the cable been live, which I am assuming was not the case, as things could have been so different with the electrocution/death of a young child on our hands.”

In a letter addressed to the concerned family, Edinburgh Trams communications manager Trevor MacDonald said: “The poles with the missing access plates on the St Andrew Square tram stop are not presently connected to a power supply and present no risk to public safety.

“That said, and while your family was never in danger as the cable on view was not live, you should not, however, have been put in the position of thinking they might have been at risk.”

St Andrew Square was re-opened to traffic in April after years of tramworks at the central location. The tram stop is accessible to the public despite the line still not going live until next year.

The cables found at the site are due to be pulled through and connected to equipment before the line’s commissioning phase.

Mr MacDonald said steps have been put in place to prevent a repeat of the August 4 shocker.

He said: “These panel openings should have been covered up at the end of every working day and the contractor has been contacted and reminded of the importance of this.

“We have taken steps to ensure that this is the case to prevent further occurrences. Measures will be taken to ensure this does not happen again.”

One every seven minutes

EACH tram stop will be served every seven-and-a-half minutes during peak hours when the line starts running.

The frequency will fall to every ten minutes during non-peak times and at weekends. Services will run from 5am until midnight. Journeys from York Place to the airport are expected to take 33 minutes.