Edinburgh tram bells will not be silenced

Transport for Edinburgh has said its tram bells will not be silenced in some residential areas following stories about complaints from unhappy residents.

The Edinburgh Evening News reported that drivers had been told to only sound their bell if “absolutely necessary” in some areas after the operator had received complaints from residents living alongside the route.

In a statement, Transport for Edinburgh said: “There are no plans to stop use of the tram bell as it’s a critical safety device on the road. Our policy hasn’t changed since December last year when we started on-street testing. Drivers ring the bell when it’s appropriate to sound it for very important safety reasons.

“This includes busy junctions, when pulling away from tram stops and when the driver thinks that a nearby pedestrian may not be aware of the presence of the tram.

“The safety of pedestrians and our passengers is our number one priority and we train our drivers to use their judgement based on conditions around them.”

Edinburgh’s long-awaited light rail system opened last month –  60 years after the original tram network was decommissioned.

Originally due to open in 2011, the project has suffered a number of setbacks financially and politically which have resulted in ambitions being scaled back and budgets scaled up.