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03 October 2013

Edinburgh transport problem and solutions

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Craig Cockburn" <>
Date: 3 Oct 2013 08:02
Subject: letter for publication
To: <>

Dear Editor

I live in West Lothian and work in Edinburgh. The ease with which I drove into Edinburgh on Monday was remarkable. Presumably this was due to the Glasgow holiday. The same applied a few weeks ago when it was an Edinburgh holiday. The Edinburgh roads can cope very well when the amount of traffic is reduced coming into the city but on other days the M8, A8 and A90 are regularly choked solid at rush hour in both directions and any roadworks, breakdowns or accidents only makes it worse. The trams are hailed as a solution, but will not fix this mess. Using the Ingleston park and ride and a stop everywhere tram is ideal for people working at Edinburgh Park but is slow for anyone working in the town centre. Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow all have non stop routes into the centre of London because people actually want to get into the city quickly and the same is true for Edinburgh. The slower public transport is, the more attractive the car becomes.  There is inadequate parking at Dalmeny, Edinburgh Park and Linlithgow stations with the latter being full by 8am and causing a problem for anyone who can't leave the house until their children have left for school. The lack of a park and ride at Edinburgh Park is a huge missed opportunity. We need a comprehensive look at the ongoing congestion in the West of Edinburgh and a realisation that the existing road infrastructure is insufficient for the forecast traffic growth and that park and rides at Ingleston and Riccarton connected to stop everywhere buses or trams are not the solution for people wanting to get in and out of the city quickly.

The simple solution which combines the flexibility of the car with fast direct public transport is to make more use of the train lines coming into the city from the west and to have a park and ride that connects directly to the existing train service.

A park and ride to the west of the bypass and between the A8 and M8, with access to both and connected to the Linlithgow line and Bathgate train lines would seem to be the obvious and not hugely expensive answer to the increasing traffic volume. This would work with the tram to give different options for getting into the city and would provide a fast and convenient service making use of existing road and rail infrastructure and provide the capacity to meet Edinburgh's growing transport demands. To fail to do so will result in a future of even more gridlock and the loss of Edinburgh as an attractive place to do business. Having lived in London for many years I am used to not using the car and would far prefer to use public transport. But for those of us not within walking distance of a train station, access to public transport has to be convenient for it to be attractive.

Craig Cockburn
4-5 Mitchell Street, Edinburgh, EH6 7BD

Published by the Edinburgh Evening News

Craig Cockburn ("coburn"). Director, Ltd
Web project and programme manager. M.Sc., BCS Chartered Fellow

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