Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Tram depot handed over to Edinburgh City Council

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Media captionTrams are already running on the test track at the Gogar depot, near Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh's new tram depot has been handed over to the city council in a move which is being seen as a major milestone for the troubled project.

Trams are already running on the test track at the Gogar depot, near Edinburgh Airport.

Council bosses are hoping the handover will demonstrate to the people of Edinburgh the tram project is finally making progress.

The project is due for completion by summer 2014, at a cost of £776m.

The depot will be home to the entire tram fleet and five vehicles have already arrived.

Jenny Dawe, Edinburgh City Council leader, has conceded that huge challenges remain but she has again insisted the line will be completed as far as the waterfront at Newhaven.

However, for now, the focus remains on building the line only as far as York Place in the city centre, far short of the tram network which Edinburgh taxpayers were initially promised.

Delivery focus

Mrs Dawe said: "Looking around the depot, it is clear that we have a world-class facility from which to run the tram network.

"We are already well into the testing programme and it was a real boost to see the trams in motion along the test track, a very visible indication of the momentum we have built up over the past few months.

"There is now much more clarity surrounding the tram project, particularly as we now have a detailed programme of works in place, and I very much hope this continues as we move toward the final completion date of summer 2014."

Scotland's transport minister Keith Brown, said: "It is encouraging to see the focus now firmly back on delivery with the first trams moving on the test track.

"This is an important milestone for the project and demonstrates what has been achieved through the city council working alongside Transport Scotland and the contractor in the last few months."

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