Success of trams offers real hope

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Have the trams finally turned a corner?

Some will always struggle to see past the disasters that beset its construction, but today the Capital’s tram operators answered another critical question about the service.

A pre-tax profit of £250,000 might be a drop in the ocean compared to the huge cost of constructing the line - but it is nevertheless very significant.

The true test of any public transport project is far more than simply the cost of building it - the quality and efficiency of the service that creates is arguably much more important measure.

We now know that the trams can not only wash their face but also make a positive contribution to the public purse. We also know that there is a public demand for the kind of frequent, efficient, high quality service that Edinburgh Trams has shown it can deliver.

Making a success of the stunted line that we have is all the more impressive when you consider that no one thought it was a good idea to build a line that went only from the airport to the city centre. A longer line would almost inevitably return a bigger profit.

We have yet to see the business case for extending the line to Leith but these results will certainly give it far greater credibility.