Comment: In all our interests that they succeed

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There will be none of the fanfare or razzmatazz that greeted the ten millionth passenger of the year at Edinburgh Airport this summer.

But the prospect of the three millionth passenger catching an Edinburgh tram before the turn of the year has the potential to be every bit as significant for the Capital. That will be confirmation that the trams are continuing to beat their targets for both passenger numbers and revenue as they complete their seventh month in operation.

Those in charge of the project are only too aware that this is not yet cause for any celebrations, it is an encouraging start - nothing more.

The tram has yet to prove its worth. Tram boss Tom Norris and his colleagues will be relieved and pleased in equal measure that, at this early stage, everything appears to be on track.

The ten million landmark was significant for Edinburgh Airport because it showed the continuing and sustained growth of its services. Supporting 2500 jobs and offering flights to more than 100 countries worldwide, it is now part of the backbone of the city economy.

The significance of the three millionth tram passenger is that the service, having bedded in for several months, is managing to beat the city’s pre-launch expectations, however modest they might have been.

That was always going to be an essential first step before the city could even contemplate extending the tram line. But it is another hurdle overcome and increases the prospect of concrete proposals being brought forward for more tram works next year.

The hope has to be the trams, like the airport, can go on to establish themselves as a lynchpin of both the Capital’s economy and transport network. No mater what our view of the decision to build the trams in the first place, it is now in all our interests that they succeed. The signs are quietly encouraging.