A CAMPAIGN has been launched to create a new direct bus link to the airport to reduce congestion and pollution in the west of the city.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, standing for Edinburgh Western at next year’s Holyrood elections, claimed the move would also help slash “car-dumping” and provide a “cheaper alternative” to taxis and airport parking.
He has distributed a petition to more than 20,000 residents calling for the new service along the A90 corridor.
Lothian Buses said there were already sufficient links, but did not rule out the prospect of a second Airlink service, which currently runs from Waverley Bridge to the airport.
Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “A new airport bus service to the north of Corstorphine Hill would give people living in communities such as Cramond, Davidson’s Mains and Blackhall a cheaper alternative to taxis and airport parking.
“The Queensferry Road corridor has long been overlooked in terms of public transport. Residents are sick of the gridlock and pollution they face during even short journeys on the A90, while residents in Corstorphine are fed up with holiday-makers using their community as an airport car park.”
His campaign has won backing from the area’s MP, but is unlikely to find support at the city council.
Michelle Thomson, SNP MP for Edinburgh West, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that we need to find an acceptable, sustainable solution to the congestion and air quality problems around Edinburgh West.”
But city transport leader Councillor Lesley Hinds insisted the city already provided regular connections with a free park-and-ride centre servicing the airport.
She said: “Our park-and-ride sites at Ingliston and Hermiston let drivers park for free, connected to Edinburgh Airport by public transport for those travelling and returning on the same day.
“Additionally, the Edinburgh Gateway station will soon be open at the Gogar tram depot, which will provide a tram connection between the airport and East Coast trains.”
Sarah Boyd, head of bus operations for Lothian Buses, said: “Within the north of Corstorphine Hill corridor there are already bus routes in place that can connect with the Airlink service to Edinburgh Airport.
“However, we will be interested to see the results of Mr Cole-Hamilton’s petition in order to ascertain the level of demand that exists.”