Edinburgh trams records ‘busiest day’ since service launched

Edinburgh Trams recorded their busiest day Picture; Lesley Martin
Edinburgh Trams recorded their busiest day Picture; Lesley Martin
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Rugby fans flocking to Scotland’s clash with Wales at Murrayfield last month helped give the Capital’s trams their busiest single day since they started nearly three years ago.

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A total of 28,043 passengers were recorded on February 25 – about double the number for a normal Saturday.

And the day of the Welsh match overtook the 2014 One Direction concert – just three days after the launch of the tram route – as the busiest day in the line’s history.

Edinburgh Trams said this year’s RBS Six Nations Rugby series had given a big boost to passenger levels.

Extra trams were put on, increasing the service frequency from every seven minutes to every five minutes for the two hours before and after the games.

Edinburgh Trams 
managing director Lea Harrison said: “Across the three matches staged at Murrayfield this season we recorded over 75,000 journeys, a clear indication that rugby fans see the tram as a perfect way of getting to the heart of the 
action.

“The stadium’s dedicated tram stop is ideally placed for supporters travelling either from the city centre, Edinburgh Airport or the Ingliston park and ride site.

“This season we once again introduced extra trams to provide a more frequent service and ensured extra staff were on hand to respond to the large numbers of customers wishing to use our trams.”

The Scotland v Italy match on March 18 saw 26,416 people using the trams and the game against Ireland on February 4 attracted 21,246.

On a typical Saturday the trams would normally carry between 10,000 and 15,000 passengers.

Latest figures show an overall increase in the number of people using the trams, with the total number of journeys for 2016 up ten per cent in a year to 5.6 million.

And a passenger survey showed 97 per cent satisfaction with trams.

Edinburgh Trams has developed a comprehensive crowd control plan to cope with the number of people using the line when there are major events.

These include deploying staff to platforms to help members of the public buying their tickets and extensive use of social media to promote the trams and help people to use them – for instance, encouraging passengers to buy return tickets.

On match days, up to 40 tram staff are involved in crowd management at Murrayfield, with support from security firm G4S when necessary to manage queues.

Mr Lea added: “To have recorded our busiest single day is a fantastic milestone. Previously the record had been 27,000 customers for a One Direction concert during the first year of our operations.

“Our services are continuing to go from strength to strength and we’re proud to be developing a strong reputation for going the extra mile when major public events are being staged in and around the city.”

A decision is due to be made after the council elections in May on whether to go ahead with an extensions of the tramline down Leith Walk to Leith and Newhaven.