PASSENGERS at Edinburgh’s tram stops will be left “cold and wet” due to inadequate shelter, critics warn.
Politicians, elderly support groups and passenger watchdogs have all hit out at the newly-designed shelters which they say have been built for a sunnier climate.
Despite the disastrous trams project costing the taxpayer £776million and running years over schedule, critics claim that next year people across the capital will have little protection from the elements.
Edinburgh Airport chiefs are also said to have expressed concern about the narrow width of the shelter at its tram terminus.
The new shelters on the eight-mile route to the city centre are 8ft wide and 40ft long with longer ones at Haymarket and the airport.
Stops with the smaller shelters include Ingliston park and ride, Gyle Shopping Centre, Edinburgh Park, Bankhead, Saughton and Balgreen.
The shelters are less enclosed than many at bus stops or railway platforms.
Gavin Booth, senior officer as transport watchdog Bus Users Scotland, said the shelters would give a poor first impression of the tram system and could even deter customers.
He said: “If people are to be attracted to public transport, the whole experience has to be right.
“A cold, wet passenger is less likely to consider the public transport option again.”
An Age Scotland spokesman said: “They do look stylish but don’t seem to offer much protection from the horizontal rain that drives across the Central Belt.”
Scottish Conservative Transport spokeswoman Joanna Mowat, said: “The tram stops appear to have been designed for sunnier climates. Given the exposed nature of some western parts of the route, the shelters will make tram stops unwelcoming places to wait in bad weather.”
Edinburgh Council could not be reached for comment.