After six years of construction, numerous promises and extended periods of exhausting inconvenience, grumbling commuters, loss of business in the areas and overall dissatisfaction of Edinburghians, finally the tram line, operating between York PLace in New Town and Edinburgh Airport, is nearing the finishing line and is set to start running May 2014. But what is better – Haymarket (Dalry Road to Manor Place) is set to reopen to traffic around 12 October and Shandwick Place crescents to open around 19 October!
The ability to arrive to the Haymarket station and actually get to where you need to go with the constant construction related noise pollution, the muddy up-turned streets and, if you drive, being able to navigate straight to the city centre rather than finding winding alternative routes seems like an unlikely novelty.
Laura Jones, a regular Haymarket station commuter, exhales a sigh of relief and snort of contention. Laura speaks of the craziness that was contagious among pedestrians and frustrated drivers alike, the irregularity and pure hazardness of public transport and the general constant congestion of roads that had her opt for using Waverley station – even though Waverley station was further away from home. It was just easier and more pleasant way to walk. Laura, effectively pointing out, traffic is never easy anywhere in the city, but at least from the pedestrian point of view, having Haymarket and Shandwick open for traffic and pedestrians again will just enable faster, easier and less dangeours commute for all involved.
The small business owners, inhabitants of the two respective areas and the influx of tourists and other visitors to Edinburgh are embracing the news perhaps with a little scepticism but nonetheless eagerly happy to claim back the streets!