THE scheme has been beset by problems but Councillor Lesley Hinds insists the project is now on track.
EDINBURGH'S troubled trams project is now making “good, steady progress”, the city's transport convener said.
Councillor Lesley Hinds spoke out as she and transport minister Keith Brown toured the tram stop site at the capital's airport.
When the trams are completed, they will take travellers to Edinburgh city centre in less than 30 minutes.
But the project has been dogged by delays and a dispute between contractors Bilfinger Berger and tram company Tie pushed it over budget.
Ms Hinds, transport convener at Edinburgh City Council, insisted today: “The tram project is now making good, steady progress in line with the revised schedule and, when finished, will be a vital part of a new, modern, integrated transport system for the future.”
She went on: “This particular part of the line is especially important and will connect the city centre to the airport, something that will benefit the people of Edinburgh and visitors for many years to come.
“As we've seen, the line goes right to the airport and will be convenient and accessible to all passengers.”
The Edinburgh tram project is Scotland's second largest infrastructure project after the Forth Replacement Crossing.
Passenger services are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2014, going from the airport to York Place.
Mr Brown conceded the trams project had “caused a lot of disruption to many residents, businesses and motorists in Edinburgh”.
He added he was “heartened to see the project taking shape”, with the Scottish Government agency Transport Scotland now playing a “key role in overseeing the delivery”.
Mr Brown said: “Our immediate focus, and that of the council, is to deliver a tram project that will help erase the memories of what has gone before, and breathe new life into the capital.”
He went on: “There are, of course, major benefits for the rest of Scotland's transport network.
“In terms of connectivity, the new Edinburgh airport tram stop, combined with the planned Edinburgh Gateway rail-tram interchange, refurbished Haymarket station and existing station at Edinburgh Park, will provide better links and more options between the Scottish rail network, Edinburgh airport and other key transport hubs.”