After umpteen screw ups and over 9,000 delays, the Edinburgh tram network is almost complete. Tourists visiting Edinburgh in 2014 will be serviced by an advanced transportation network that will take them from the airport to the heart of the city. But enough about the Airlink bus – let’s talk about the trams.
They may be five years too late, five times over budget and half their original length, but let’s not dwell in the past. Life’s too short for recriminations; instead of slating the tram chiefs for what’s gone before, let’s slate them for what’s to come.
You thought the construction phase was tough? That was a holiday. The real nightmare has yet to begin. At Ed Uncovered, we try to see the glass as half full, but when it comes to the trams our sunny disposition deserts us. We’re not saying these disasters are definitely going to happen. We’re just saying that if they do occur, we’ll be the first to remind you of our brilliant precognition.
Cyclists crashing on the tracks
This is happening already, but once the trams start moving, the danger will be squared and then squared again. It’s taken five road deaths in a week to provoke a cycling safety debate in London. How many must be levelled by shoogly tram lines for the people of Edinburgh to declare enough is enough?
The trams kill Princes Street
Crossing the street in Amsterdam is hella scary. Guess what? Crossing Princes Street is about to become just as tough. Look left, look right, look left again, walk across and get clotheslined by the 13:05 to St Andrews Square. Quiet things, trams. If the driver isn’t quick on the bell, you won’t even hear your cause of death approaching.
After a spate of grisly deaths, shoppers become reluctant to visit Princes Street. The city’s main thoroughfare turns into a ghost town while Gyle Shopping Centre prospers. Primark may have scarred Princes Street but it is the trams that will deal the killer blow.
Taxis crashing into trams
Motorists only have to cross the tram tracks; taxis have to drive along them. Picture the scene:
>Drunk flags down taxi
>Tram crashes into taxi/drunk
It’s 1,000 accidents waiting to happen.
No one uses them
With the Airlink bus being quicker and cheaper, nobody uses the trams. Passenger levels fall so low that it becomes cheaper to shut them down. The trams grind to a halt. Tumbleweed blows across the tracks. Crows gather on the limp overhead lines. And in the tram shelters, perverts fuck.
Congratulations Edinburgh: you’ve just created the world’s most expensive dogging spot.
The council goes bust
With the trams haemorrhaging cash due to high overheads and low usage, Edinburgh City Council feels compelled to subsidise the network and finds itself sucked into a financial black hole. Cutbacks have to be made. Soon there’s no fireworks, no festival and no Hogmanay, all to prop up a vanity project that naebody uses.
Of course, it’s possible that the complete opposite could happen and the trams prove to be a raging success. They could be the best thing to happen to Edinburgh since some dude decided to build a castle upon a volcanic rock.
But where would the fun be in writing an article about that?
The trams are coming. Look out.