TRAM fares in the Capital are to rise – with the cost of travelling to Edinburgh Airport set to jump by ten per cent.
Airport fares will increase by 50p to £5.50 from April 10, while the price of a single will rise by 10p to £1.60.
The move comes just days after transport chiefs announced a hike in bus fares, with adult and child single tickets increasing by 10p to £1.60 and 80p respectively.
Both decisions have sparked fears passengers are being hit to help pay for a potential extension of the tram line to Newhaven.
Bosses insist this is not the case and say any additional cash will be pumped back into improving current services.
Today, they unveiled a wide-ranging shake-up of tram services that will see the introduction of a return ticket for city-zone journeys, covering all stops except the airport.
Costing the same as two singles, the new return ticket will be valid only on same-day tram services, with customers also given the option of paying by card for the first time.
Meanwhile, bosses said work was ongoing to assess options for extra and faster services, with a new timetable set to be introduced before the end of the year.
They said the initial priority was to add more morning and evening peak services, as well as speeding up airport journey times and extending operating hours.
Elsewhere, prices for passengers using Ridacard season tickets or Daytickets will remain the same.
Councillor Nick Cook, Tory transport spokesman, said the latest increase would “only add to the perception that such rises will be used at least in part to fund the controversial tram extension”.
He added: “A ten per cent rise in airport fares in particular does seem rather disproportionate, particularly given the ludicrous cost of the initial tram scheme in the first place and the controversy that still surrounds it.”
But Cllr Gavin Corbett, Green finance spokesman, said: “I don’t really have a problem with the tram prices to the airport rising if it coincides with services increasing and helps keep general prices down.
“The tram still offers the best and most convenient way to come from the airport. The only thing I’d caution is keeping prices competitive with the popular airport bus service.”
Lea Harrison, general manager of Edinburgh Trams, said the company had listened to customers and expected the introduction of a return ticket option to be “well received”.
He said: “While we have been very successful to date, the demand for more services is clearly there and we’re working hard to maximise the potential of the current line. The changes to our ticket prices will help us to remain competitively priced, while ensuring that we are able to continue making further service improvements.
“Edinburgh has a growing population of residents, workers and visitors, and we need to make sure that the tram plays its part as an efficient, safe and popular way of getting around the city.”