Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 13:56 UK

Historic poster reveals tram woes

1897 Tram poster. Pic by National Library of Scotland
The poster dating from 1897, warned motorists about the tram project

Disruption on Edinburgh's roads as a result of tram works is nothing new - a poster published in 1897 has shown.

Issued by the City Chambers, the notice details disruption to Princes Street to allow for cabling of a new tram system in the capital.

Those driving slow-moving vehicles, carts and lorries are warned to stay away from the city's main thoroughfare while the work takes place.

The poster was unearthed by researchers at the National Library of Scotland.

The public notice threatens "vehicles usually driven at a pace slower than a trot" with a fine of up to 40 shillings, about £130 in today's money, for disobeying the ban.

Bruce Blacklaw, of the National Library of Scotland, said: "It's funny to think that Edinburgh's commuters were negotiating alternative routes around the city centre while tram works were taking place 112 years ago.

"We also have a film in the Scottish Screen Archive collection which shows these tramlines being removed in the 1950s to make way for buses.

"This poster is just one item from our collection of more than 14 million printed items, all of which have their own fascinating story to tell."

Phase 1 of the Edinburgh Trams project - which will run from Haymarket to Leith - is due to be completed in summer 2011.

The new tram system is expected to be one of the most advanced in the world.

Edinburgh's previous electric tram system was in use from 1923 to 1956.

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