Edinburgh festivals: Trams to run throughout the night to cater for crowds
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Edinburgh's tram service is to keep running throughout Friday and Saturday nights during the city's summer festivals season.
Its operator has to pledged to “go the extra mile” by staging round-the-clock services at the weekend in August, when the festivals are expected to attract a combined audience of more than three million.
Normal tickets will be valid on the late-night services, including passes offering unlimited travel between Ingliston and Newhaven, which will cost £10 for three days, £14 for four days and £15 for five days.
Tram services have been confirmed to run throughout Friday and Saturday nights between Edinburgh Airport and Newhaven every 20 minutes until 2am then every 30 minutes until the normal service gets underway again just after 5am.
Passenger numbers using the tram have soared in recent weeks following the opening of a long-awaited extension to the network to provide a new link between Picardy Place and the city’s waterfront via Leith Walk, the Shore, Ocean Terminal and Newhaven.
The move to keep the tram running throughout the night is expected to provide a huge boost to efforts to encourage festival goers to use public transport as well as help persuade people struggling to find affordable accommodation in the city centre.
Lea Harrison, Edinburgh Trams managing director, said: “Following the enormous success of late-night trams in previous festival seasons, we wanted to go the extra mile this year by running a 24-hour service over the weekend, which is a testament to our commitment as Scotland’s number one public transport operator.
“For further convenience, anyone heading for the festivals can avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot in or around the city centre by leaving their cars at Ingliston Park and Ride, which has over 1,000 spaces available and and a tram stop.”
Fringe Society chief executive Shona McCarthy said: “We're delighted that the team at Edinburgh Trams have extended their evening service for Friday and Saturday nights throughout August.
“It’s great to see such a pro-active approach for both residents and visitors getting around safely in the city’s busiest season, and the extended timetable will be great for artists and audiences participating in late night performances.”
City council transport convener Scott Arthur said: “During the city’s busiest month of the year, both residents and visitors alike will be able to take advantage of our world class festivals and nightlife, safe in the knowledge that they’ll get home quickly and safely on the tram.”
Meanwhile ScotRail has confirmed it will be running late-night services between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street every night during the main festivals season.
Additional late-night services will run at the weekends to Glasgow Queen Street via Bathgate and Airdrie, Glenrothes, Dundee and North Berwick. An extra service will operate from North Berwick to Edinburgh from August 4-13 during the Fringe by the Sea festival.
ScotRail service delivery director David Simpson said: “We’re excited to play our part in making Edinburgh’s festivals a success and we look forward to welcoming visitors to the capital city.”