Sunday, 1 February 2015


Edinburgh's trams caused chaos and no little controversy (which continues) while being built, but finally started running last spring. I've been on them a few times before, but last week took the wheelchair on for the first time. It was great. The Park and Ride at Ingliston has disabled parking right by the tram stop, though it seems to be a well-kept secret and I hesitate to publicise it! The platforms are all engineered so there's level access, without even enough of a gap for my 4" casters (that's the front wheels) to get caught. There's loads of space (4 wheelchair bays in each tram) and they're quick and smooth. They stop longer (and open the centre doors automatically) if you press the stop button with the wheelchair sympbol. I really love the active user logo they have chosen as well.

Despite it's hills, the main streets of Edinburgh's New Town are built along the hill, so there's no more than a gentle slope as you go along Princes Street and, if you alight at St Andrew's Square, the same is true for George Street. There's a slight hill, beyond me just yet, between the two, but the trams do make both of Edinburgh's main shopping streets accessible to me. Which is just as well because the Council have somewhat misguidedly blocked off half of George Street (and thus half it's disabled parking bays) to create outdoor dining spaces (in Edinburgh!). These have proven less than successful, apart from for a few weeks in August. I can even make it to John Lewis without braving the horrors of it's parking building.

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