Edinburgh City Council will consider implementing more bus lanes as well as the possible re-opening of the South Sub railway and a ferry to Fife.
This is all part of a new transport plan being planned for launch later this year.
The city’s minority Labour administration said it was determined to achieve the Capital’s 2030 net zero target and prioritise public transport. Council leaders and officials are working on the strategy now and the detailed plans are set to be published on December 2, reports the Scotsman.
Transport convener Scott Arthur said: “This is a key part of our ambition to hit net zero and reduce car use in the city.”
He said the proposal for a new tramline from Granton in the north into the city centre and on to the infirmary, expected to cost at least £1 billion, would double the capacity of the existing network.
But the council would have to ask the Scottish Government to help fund the project. “It would need support from the Scottish Government to progress so we’re keen to work in partnership with them to deliver this investment which is of national importance, and help us meet our shared ambitions.”
Councillor Arthur said he understood the government was backing the Clyde metro, a light rail system for the Glasgow area, which is estimated to cost up to £30 billion. “If we’re seeing that amount of money going into Glasgow I think we’re confident we can make the case for the tram line through Edinburgh, but it is about working in partnership.”
There could be a new north-south tramline from Granton to the Royal Infirmary. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
He promised consultation on the route and said the optimistic aim was for completion by 2030.
“The initial tram project did have significant problems and because of that people lost faith in investment in trams in Edinburgh, but extending the line to Newhaven has by and large been a successful project and people can now look at what we’re doing with a bit more confidence.”
Meanwhile, Newhaven could be one end of a new passenger-only ferry route over the Forth to Fife.
The action plan includes increasing the number of bus lanes to make bus journeys quicker. Picture: Neil Hanna, said the Scotsman report.
Councillor Arthur said: “Off the back of the Newhaven line nearing completion there is now interest in a ferry connection across to Kirkcaldy. There have been technical discussions inside the council about this and at the political level I’m in the process of setting up a meeting with Fife Council early next month to look at how we could take this forward.”
He said there were a lot of people commuting from Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh by car. “This is about taking some of those cars off the road and getting them to use what would essentially be public transport and connecting with the tramline to get into Edinburgh.”