Heads up! Sydney Locals Warned To Pay Attention As Tram Testing Begins
Heads up Sydneysiders! Locals are being warned to pay attention after a string of near-misses as trams return to the harbour city after nearly 60 years.
With testing of the NSW government's beleaguered light rail network ramping up, pedestrians, cyclists and drivers have been urged to keep their heads up and look out for trams.
"We need people to get off their phones, be alert when you're walking around the city, (and) crossing roads," NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance told reporters.
The warning came as the first tram made its way to the end of the light rail line at Circular Quay on Monday night for testing.
The milestone comes 58 years after Sydney's extensive tram network was closed.
"It's a shame we didn't keep our tram network like Melbourne," Mr Constance said on Tuesday.
"In time everyone will look back and go 'That was a bit of a mistake'."
There will be regular testing of the trams on George Street from Town Hall to Circular Quay at night before daytime testing begins in the CBD within weeks.
"Mobile phones (and) speakers in your ears, these things are distractions and they're deadly around trams," he told reporters.
The controversial project is due to open to commuters travelling from Circular Quay to Randwick by the end of the year.
The line to Kingsford is scheduled to open early next year.
The entire project was originally meant to cost taxpayers $1.6 billion but the bill has now blown out to $2.7 billion.