Trams stall as Princes Street traffic lights fail

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TRAM passengers were left stranded as traffic-light failure brought the city centre to a standstill.

A signalling problem in Princes Street meant that traffic lights at the junction with South Charlotte Street were stuck on red for around 20 minutes during rush hour.

The traffic backed up to the West End. Pic: comp

The traffic backed up to the West End. Pic: comp

Buses, trams and taxis were caught up in huge tailbacks, which also caused problems stretching into Lothian Road, Queensferry Street and Shandwick Place.

As the backlog increased, trams began terminating services in the West End, before ending up ejecting passengers at the Murrayfield stop.

They were allowed to use their tram tickets on buses, but with no stops nearby and all eastbound traffic facing gridlock, many passengers were left frustrated.

One of them, Mike Johnston, reported on Twitter that he had been “thrown off” a service.

He tweeted: “Everyone thrown off tram at Murrayfield and told by @EdinburghTrams that we have to make our own way into town from here #fail.”

In the city centre, drivers reported being stuck in traffic for up to 25 minutes after the fault occurred at around 6pm yesterday.

Frustrated commuters took to social media to report the hold-up with one man, Andrew Thornton, saying: “Tram signalling problems causing traffic chaos in Edinburgh city centre? If that’s the case something urgently needs done.”

As the mayhem went on, trams were unable to reach the city centre, curtailing the route between Edinburgh Airport and Shandwick Place, before it was shortened further to Murrayfield.

Council chiefs confirmed the traffic light was fixed around 20 minutes after the problem began.

Commuters heading through the city centre by around 6.30pm said the traffic and trams appeared to be flowing as normal.

A Transport for Edinburgh spokesman said the trams were turning round in an effort “to keep things moving”.