TRAM chiefs are facing a potentially massive bill for repairing tracks in Edinburgh before the troubled project even opens.
Serious cracking has appeared in the tarmac and rubber track edging along the length of Princes Street.
One expert said the cracking was significant and would prove costly and disruptive to repair.
The news comes in the same week it was revealed that trams would only run for half a mile when the service starts later this year.
The project has been mired in delays, cutbacks and arguments and critics of the trams said the cracks were yet another reason the project should never have got off the ground.
Photographs taken this week suggest that the tarmac surrounding the tram lines is beginning to disintegrate. The same damage has been observed the length of Princes Street.