Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh's trams see passenger numbers jump 10%

Tram passing Scott's Monument in Edinburgh Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than seven million people travelled on an Edinburgh tram in 2018

More than seven million people travelled on a tram in Edinburgh in 2018, according to the latest figures.

Passenger numbers went up by about 10% compared with the previous year, bringing the total to 7.3 million.

The rise in passengers has been attributed to extra trams running at peak times, with some services running every three minutes.

Operator Edinburgh Trams Limited's latest annual accounts show it made a pre-tax profit of £1.61m in 2017.

That was up from just £252,000 the previous year.

Edinburgh Trams is set to take on the cost of maintaining the vehicles and infrastructure in 2019, with an £8.5m annual fee payable to the City of Edinburgh Council for use of the trams, track and the tram depot.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Councillors will vote in March on plans to extend the line to Newhaven

Lea Harrison, managing director at Edinburgh Trams, said: "The additional responsibilities given to us as maintainer are recognition of our efforts and the council's belief in our abilities to make cost savings for the city."

Transport for Edinburgh chief executive George Lowder said the transfer of responsibilities showed "Edinburgh Trams has come of age", adding that it "has proven itself for a fourth year as an integral part of the Transport for Edinburgh Group and the backbone of the integrated Edinburgh mobility network".

Edinburgh councillors are due to vote in March on plans to extended the tram network to Newhaven.

The proposal estimates expansion could almost double the number of passengers using trams, with a predicted 14 million users in its first year.

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