As the Edinburgh Trams team gears up for the launch of the first services to Newhaven, the completion of the landmark project represents another important milestone in the career of Assistant Safety Manager, Ross Crawford.

Having previously worked in a local call centre, Ross joined Edinburgh Trams as a Ticketing Assistant in 2014, just a month after the first trams started running on the existing line between the airport and the city centre.

Within six months he started training as a driver and has since risen through the ranks of the organisation. Having spent a further five years as an Operations Controller he was promoted to his current role in 2021, and he’s now playing a key role in preparations for the opening of the new line.

Clearly, safety is always our number one priority, and a massive amount of work has been done to minimise any risks associated with the arrival of trams to areas of the city where people may be unfamiliar with sharing the road with them, Ross explained.

This work has intensified in recent weeks as trams are tested on the Newhaven line for the first time, and we are continually checking that measures put into place at the planning stage, including signage, road markings and crossing layouts, are effective in the real world.

As part of this process, Ross has drawn on the experience of fellow tramway safety professionals across the UK and carried out dozens of risk assessments using a system developed by the Office of Rail and Road. Best practice highlighted in guidance produced by the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has also been incorporated into the service launch plans.

Of course, I’ve also had a massive amount of support from experienced colleagues here at Edinburgh Trams, and together we are working closely with various external agencies to maintain and enhance our excellent safety record as the tramway grows, Ross said.

I feel privileged to be part of such a high-profile project, and my involvement reflects the faith that Edinburgh Trams has in its team and the support it provides to those who want to advance their careers, he added.