Comment: Many will be impressed by new city toy

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You might have expected the first working Edinburgh tram to arrive in the city centre to look a little embarrassed by all the attention.

After all, when you’re years late for a date at the corner of Fraser’s on Princes Street you should expect that your other half will not be too impressed.

But there was no red face from the tram last night. In fact, tram number 264 from the depot at Gogar resembled an eager puppy, keen to please its new masters and sped ahead of the waiting crowd as if keen to show what it could do.

We had expected the vehicle to proceed at walking pace surrounded by yellow-jacketed engineers with clipboards and serious faces. But instead it covered the ground so fast that it arrived in Princes Street EARLY!

And so tense officials and politicians relaxed as more and more onlookers emerged from pubs and restaurants to point and stare and observe history.

The trams have a long way to go to convert public opinion. But on the evidence of their first midnight gambol, many will be impressed by the speed and look of our new Capital toy.

People power

from first-rate schools to police officers being accessible in the communities that we live, the quality of our public services make a huge difference to our quality of life.

That is why there has been such a groundswell of public opinion in favour of building a new high school for children from across east Edinburgh to replace the current decrepit Portobello High. And it is why there has been such an outcry over Police Scotland’s plans to close a swathe of counters at stations across the Lothians.

It is down to people power that progress is being made on both fronts, with MSPs backing the school plans and the first station counter closures being quashed.