TRANSPORT chiefs have issued ‘hazard zones’ warning as they prepare to turn on power cables for Edinburgh’s trams.
Hundreds of homes and businesses along Edinburgh’s tram route have been warned the overhead cables on the tram route are about to go live.
Residents received letters with the missive warning any contact with the current-carrying -cables could lead to potentially fatal consequences.
Works within ten metres of any part of the line – an area labelled “tram hazard zone,” will be banned without written approval from the city council.
The power switch will be flicked on overhead power lines from the Bankhead tram stop to York Place on November 19, sending power surging through the entire eight-mile line for the first time.
Each of the lines will carry 750 volts, direct exposure to voltage levels of 500 to 1000 volts can result in internal burns and potential death.
The council said the lines, installed about 18ft above the tracks, do not a pose a threat to pedestrians and motorists or those living close to the tramway.
But warned traders such as windows were most at risk if working near the route.
A council insider said: “People aren’t used to the network having electricity flowing through it so we desperately need to get this message out to people.”
The switch-on comes ahead of widespread tram testing across the entire route next month.
Busy sections of the tram route include Princess Street and Haymarket being electrified represents another milestone in the £776 million project.
City transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “Anyone who lives in or owns a property near the tramway and needs to carry out work within a ten-metre vicinity of it needs to be aware of these important safety measures.
“We’ve been in contact with hundreds of residences and businesses along the route and we’re urging them to read the guidance and approach us to agree a safe way or working.
“In normal circumstances, the overhead wires are high up, out of the way and safe, but they can pose a danger if appropriate guidelines aren’t followed when working nearby.”
Letters were mailed out to those close to the tramway on Thursday 31 October.
Applications to carry out works within the hazard zone will have to be submitted to the council at least three weeks in advance.
The latest move comes with tram tests journeys from Edinburgh Park to Gogar depot having started last month.
The schedule for full testing will involve up to 180 “ghost trams,” vehicles empty of passengers that will run mainly at night, travelling along the full route.
Midnight trials along the likes of Princes Street are expected to avoid peak-time disruption.