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Scottish Region Policy Group response on the Draft West Edinburgh Planning Framework Consultation

The responses below are those of members of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport(UK) Scottish Policy Group who have contributed to the discussion on the Draft West Edinburgh Planning Framework Consultation.

The Institute is the professional body for the full range of people who are engaged in logistics and transport. This includes freight and passenger transport operators, government and local government employees, consultants and academics.

We recognise the national significance of the developments proposed for West Edinburgh and welcome the opportunity to comment on the Planning Framework. The background paper and draft Environmental Statement are helpful but we have confined our comments to the Consultation Draft which covers all main aspects of relevance to ourselves.

Most of the main issues we wish to highlight were covered in our response to consultation on the Edinburgh Airport Outline Master Plan in August 2005. A copy is attached and we refer to this as appropriate.

We support the vision expressed in the Introduction of West Edinburgh becoming an international business location. This will clearly build on the development of Edinburgh Airport but we question the statement (para.02) regarding "greater certainty about the nature of airport expansion". Our general comments on the Airport Master Plan explained the need for flexibility and this need has strengthened following publication of the Stern report and greater global recognition of the increasing contribution of air travel to climate change. Our more specific comments which, as requested are related to specific paragraphs in the report are as follows:

08. Recognition of the uncertainty regarding air passenger forecasts reflects the above comment and we consider there will be a need to review the West Edinburgh Planning Framework to reflect a likely reduction in air passenger forecasts.

10,11. We agree that West Edinburgh is very well placed to act as an international business location and that development of the area provides an important opportunity to attract internationally mobile headquarters development.

12,15. The factors highlighted, which give the area a competitive advantage should be safeguarded and nurtured as proposed. We agree that mitigation of adverse transport impacts is a key challenge and that maintaining efficient surface access to the airport with greater access on public transport mode share is of prime strategic importance.

18. We support the proposed action.

19. We concur in general with the vision for the area but have the following comments on the strategic objectives where we feel reconsideration or amplification is required.

i) Edinburgh Airport passenger growth must be sustainable and future forecasts should be subject to frequent review in the light of changes in influencing factors and related wider policy changes. This applies in particular to proposals for a second terminal and/or runway. We do not support the need for either unless and until a clear need has been established. It follows that the development plan should not impose a requirement for significant investment which could be aborted if such need is not established.

ii) We strongly support construction of a high quality transport interchange at the airport to facilitate easy transfer between modes for those using the airport and for other travellers. There should be flexibility however to cater for uncertainties regarding predicted air travel and for surface transport changes which could result, for example from road pricing and major rail improvements.

iii) The tram link should be provided for but whilst good heavy rail connections to the airport are essential the proposed underground station and associated diversions are costly and would significantly disrupt services whose main function is to serve Edinburgh, not the airport. Furthermore the current proposals would not provide access to the airport from the new Airdrie-Bathgate line which will cater for a significant employee and traveller catchment.

iv) We indicated in our response to consultation of the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link and the Airport Master Plan that providing stations on existing lines close to the airport with high quality people mover links, from them to the terminal building could be a more cost effective solution. Such an arrangement would connect the airport with more rail services, would impose less disruption to such services and would better serve the nearby area. A good quality inter-modal interchange could still be provided and this option should be fully explored before heavy rail commitments are made. The Planning Framework should ensure sufficient flexibility for both options.

v) We have no objection to the two new road accesses to the north of the A8 but suggest consideration is given to a further link with the eastern connection to avoid introducing too much additional traffic at the Gogarside Junction area. This relates to the wider issue of catering for future overall traffic demands which will in the main arise from traffic not using the airport. It is not clear that this has been addressed bearing in mind current congestion at the north end of the Edinburgh By-Pass and at the Maybury Junction.

vi) We agree provision should not be made for a road link from the airport to the M8.

The above comments relate to our particular interests and we hope you find them helpful. We would be pleased to enlarge on them if you would find this helpful.

 

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