Transport is an emotive issue. This ELR proposal is not intended necessarily to fuel any heated debates, it is not looking to be necessarily criticised either, the proposal is intended more for constructive discussion and comment and the long term aim is to find an acceptable way forward to deliver what was branded in the 2007 ELR proposal as “Transport for Edinburgh – A Blueprint for the Future”. Part of this brand name was subsequently adopted in late 2013 by the transport organisations Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams when they joined forces under the umbrella of “Transport for Edinburgh Limited”, so there has been a minor re-branding by the ELR in that respect. However, an equally if not more important and appropriate brand name embodying all modes of transport was identified for the ELR light rail train proposal, perhaps reflecting more accurately what the main purpose of the proposal is all about i.e. “Joined Up Transport in Edinburgh (JUTIE) – A Blueprint for the Future”. In the next generation, the ELR and JUTIE could transform the way people travel around Edinburgh, go about their business and have fun.
To begin the journey, first of all peruse the June 2007 version of the ELR proposal and all its associated diagrams and documents, then the updated version as at June 2016. For the avoidance of any doubt, the ELR proposal does not advocate low level tram trains, it promotes a self contained light rail network able to use high platforms, similar for example to the Docklands Light Railway and Underground in London and the Newcastle Metro, both on new track, existing operational track (including one new section) which will work alongside and compliment existing transport systems. The obviously scaled down 2016 proposal deals more sympathetically with current heavy rail capacity issues at Waverley and Haymarket stations. It would not be the intention to construct and open the various routes included in this proposal at one time but rather in carefully considered phases.