Trambassadors to talk-up worksite Edinburgh


By Michael MacLeod

HATED traffic wardens are being turned into city “trambassadors” during Edinburgh’s festival season to explain to tourists why the road works are so bad.

Already among the most loathed workers in the capital streets, now parking enforcers and litter meanies are to “talk up” the capital.

Roadworks for the city’s tram network are such a permanent feature that they’ll even be dishing out special new maps including all the obstacles.

Intensive digging will continue right through the world famous cultural event because the tram project is lagging behind schedule.
Fears were raised by business bosses that the Festival would suffer after a summer roadwork recess plan was abandoned.

But bosses have even changed plans for the laying of tracks in Princes Street, in a symbolic gesture to residents and tourists – two whole years before the first trams will run.

City council leader Jenny Dawe said: “It is important to ensure the city provides a great experience and looks fantastic this summer.

“It is also very important visitors are welcomed and provided with helpful information to ensure they have an enjoyable visit.”

But taxi drivers said they are already doing the city’s “ambassadorial” by helping tourists with directions and buying tickets.

And the plan to give tourists “Festival toolkits” is a waste of time, according to Raymond Davidson of the Edinburgh Taxi Association.

He said: “We already do this sort of thing as part of the service, and have done for decades of Festivals now.

“I don’t think there will be too many taxi drivers that won’t give folk directions or tell them where to get tickets if they are asked.”

Tram firm boss Richard Jeffrey, of TIE, confirmed: “Visitors on Princes Street in August will see the first tram tracks laid and get a real sense of how the project is developing.”