Thu 9 Jan, 2020

Commuting into Edinburgh from Fife by car has become “a problem” which can only be solved by better public transport, MSPs have been told.

Speaking to the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, Ewan Kennedy, Transport and Planning Manager at the City of Edinburgh said traffic has increased to 60,000 cars coming into Scotland’s capital every morning.

With traffic growth going “in the wrong direction”, the congestion and resultant pollution has created “a huge issue” for communities that the A9 passes through, such as Crammond, he said.

Kennedy told MSPs installing bus lanes alone would not solve the issue without better public transport to encourage people to leave their cars at home. Bus operators who were also giving evidence agreed.

“How do we make the public transport and active travel choice the easiest, most attractive choice?” he said.

Commenting, Scottish Green transport spokesperson John Finnie said: “This evidence makes clear that the Queensferry Crossing has not resolved congestion issues into Edinburgh. Why would it? We’ve known since the 1960s that building more roads increases traffic.

“The growth in traffic is just not sustainable and it is clearly impacting on communities. The Scottish Government must listen to the experts. Bus lanes and road allocation isn’t going to solve the issue on its own.

“In a climate emergency there needs to be regular, reliable and integrated public transport, so that it becomes the easiest option. That’s why the Scottish Greens propose public ownership and phasing in free bus travel.”

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