TramForward welcomes plans for Edinburgh tram expansion
TramForward welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to expand the Edinburgh Tram network, especially from the North of the City to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) and Bioquarter via the University and on to the southern suburbs.
TramForward also agrees that with Edinburgh being an urban hub, fast high capacity connections need to be established with the surrounding dormitory and light industry locations in Fife and West Lothian. Connections to both these areas would be of great benefit to large numbers of potential passengers.
The high capacity afforded by trams will significantly reduce the need for private cars and contribute to the Scottish Government’s aim of reducing climate change pollution by decarbonisation, with trams drawing their power largely from renewable electricity.
TramForward’s only regret from the government’s report is that it does not give greater recognition to the need to reduce NEEs (non-exhaust emissions), the highly toxic PM2.5 particulates produced from tyre and road surface wear, to meet World Health Organisation standards. NEE production is directly proportional to vehicle weight so is especially a problem with HGVs and buses. Electric buses being heavier than fossil-fuelled buses are therefore a greater source of these harmful pollutants.
The Light Rail Transit Association’s Regional Officer, Vic MacKinlay, said, “Having worked in computer services and the Renal Unit I am well aware of the advantages of good transport links between the acute units of the Lothian University Hospitals Division for both staff and patients attending multi-site specialties. Fixed transport links for hospitals and universities are so much the norm in European cities”.