Comment: Tram charging plan needs work

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THERE are always buzz words when it comes to public services. Communities have to be “cohesive”, development “sustainable” and transport “integrated”.

What the jargon means is not always obvious, but is sometimes just common sense dressed up in corporate speak.

That is certainly the case when it comes to integrated transport. It makes sense for buses and trams to complement rather than compete with each other.

Offering a single ticket to travel on both and charging the same for basic journeys is sensible. It would be crazy to do anything else.

What doesn’t make much sense is the fudge agreed on concessionary travel. The city council has delivered for Edinburgh pensioners, but the Scottish Government hasn’t for those outside the city boundary. Yes, the concessionary fares scheme is expensive to run, but there must be better ways to control its costs than this.

We’re going to actively discourage pensioners from Mid, East and West Lothian and further afield from catching the tram. It’s hardly buses and trams working together. It’s 
dis-integrated transport planning.

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