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Our Ancestors Faced Trams Disruption Too!

24 August 2009

Disruption on Edinburgh's roads as a result of tram works is nothing new - in fact, it's more than 100 years old according to researchers at the National Library of Scotland.

They have unearthed a poster, issued by the City Chambers in 1897, banning slow-moving vehicles from part of Princes Street to allow the cabling of tramways.

The public notice threatens "lorries, carts, and other vehicles usually driven at a pace slower than a trot" with a fine of up to forty shillings (around £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."

For more information on the National Library of Scotland's collections visit



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