Growth of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, has resulted in decentralisation of businesses and services and created a need for improved accessibility to these areas.
Background & Objectives
This project is one of ten trial projects being conducted under the umbrella of OPTIMUM2 - ‘Optimal Planning Through Implementation of Mobility Management’ - a European project whose primary aim is to improve the accessibility of busy locations in urban areas through mobility management.
The city of Edinburgh is a key growth area in Scotland. This growth is located not only in the city centre, but also in suburban areas like the Gyle and Edinburgh Park, the north of Edinburgh and around Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and has brought decentralisation of jobs with it. That decentralisation causes transport problems, especially in the west of the city.
As a result, the following activities were proposed:
- Use of mobility management to reduce the number of car trips for commuter traffic.
- Application of the approach to business areas, with workers who usually travel during peak hours.
- Monitoring of the effectiveness of the mobility management measures used in the project.
A consultant was appointed to develop and execute a two-year marketing plan to “sell” travel improvements that are being implemented by the City of Edinburgh Council.
A number of initiatives have been implemented to address access to business and service areas out with the centre of Edinburgh:
- Edinburgh Fastlink - Includes a 1.6 km kerb guided busway for use by buses linking central Edinburgh with the Edinburgh Park employment area and The Gyle Shoping Centre.
- Leith to Straiton Quality Bus Corridor-A system of bus priorities together with improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. Work on a bus based park and ride site at Straiton, which will form part of the Quality Bus Corridor, has commenced.
- A702 Route Action Plan- A set of bus priority measures and bus boarders at stops has been introduced along the A702 corridor through the Bruntsfield and Morningside areas of southern Edinburgh.
- Real Time Information - 'Bustracker' real time information system has been installed at 140 bus stop displays along the Leith to Straiton Quality Bus Corridor. The system is being expanded to cover the main bus corridors in Edinburgh. Bustracker will also be expanded into East Lothian and Midlothian.
- Improved Bus Services - New bus interchange facilities, improved stops and bus shelters have been provided. >
- Park and Ride Sites - New bus based park and ride sites at Ingliston and Hermiston on the western edge of Edinburgh have been opened. Preparatory work has begun on the bus based park and ride site at Straiton, which will form part of the Leith to Straiton Quality Bus Corridor.
- Publicity material, targeted at employees (at major employers), about real-time information and public transport improvements.
- Personalised Travel Assistance programme for at least 400 staff, from at least two employers.
- Personalised travel assistance has been provided for a total of 800 staff at large employment areas.
- Travel advice was given at an open week for staff moving to the new Royal Bank of Scotland International Headquarters at Gogarburn in July 2005.
- A project website www.clevercommuting.info was launched in November 2005.
- A Walking Challenge was conducted with employees at Fort Kinnaird retail park in April 2006 and the University of Edinburgh in August 2006.
- In June 2006 employees in the Edinburgh Park area were provided with a cycling guide.
- Personalised travel assistance was provided to staff at Telford College, during August 2006, when their new campus was opened in the Granton area of Edinburgh.
- Lunchtime ‘Travel Clinics’ were given to staff at HSBC, Diageo, BT and Miller Group on Edinburgh Park, during 2006.
The marketing of these travel improvements was to involve:
With new and improved bus routes and service up and running, the marketing of the services and similar sustainable transport alternatives to employees and individuals is progressing with a final report on the project due in 2007. To date, the following marketing activities have taken place:
Clive Brown, City of Edinburgh Council