Edinburgh Trams lose just £450,000

TramEdinburgh’s controversial trams system lost less during its first months of operation than has previously been anticipated.

Having been launched at end of May last year, after six years of disruption and cost increases, the service lost almost £450,000 in 2014.

This was less than expected and operators put that down to higher than predicted passenger numbers after three million people used the trams.

At this rate, tram bosses said they estimate it will take three years for the trams project to turn a profit.

Meanwhile, the capital’s bus service, Lothian Buses, which is majority-owned by Edinburgh City Council, said it carried 118 million passengers in 2014, allowing it to pay a dividend of £5.5m to shareholders.

The company said that it generated revenue of £135.3m last compared with £132.3m in 2013. It resulted in profit after tax of £8.24m (£8.58m in 2013).

Lesley Hinds, chairwoman of Transport for Edinburgh, said: “Everyone across the Transport for Edinburgh Group is to be congratulated for delivering a hugely successful operation over 2014.

“Innovations and improvements have been introduced such as new websites, customer mobile apps and refurbished Travelshops - all enhancements to the experience of passengers.

“Lothian Buses, and now Edinburgh Trams too, sit at the heart of life in Edinburgh, moving people to where they need to be in their millions each week, and driving our economy.

“These services are essential to the success of the city and I’m pleased that we’re moving forward positively.”

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