YES TO TRAMS, NO TO EARL – GREEN MANIFESTO PLEDGES DELIVERED

Scottish Greens are pleased that Green Party policies of building the Edinburgh Tram scheme and ditching the unsustainable and ill-thought out Edinburgh Airport Rail Link is to be delivered.

Greens oppose the current Edinburgh Airport Rail Link proposal, as do Scotland’s leading sustainable transport organisations, and argue for alternative upgrading of public transport links which will be much cheaper and not be reliant on a massive increase in air travel. 

Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: “I’m delighted that Edinburgh will be seeing a far more sustainable and better value solution to its transport needs.  The SNP wanted to scrap EARL and the Trams.  All the other parties wanted to build them both.  Greens have argued consistently that the Trams should be built but that alternative rail options should be developed for Edinburgh airport, with the money saved being spent on other public transport improvements.  With just two MSPs, it might be a rare privilege to see our manifesto commitments so fully carried out, but this is a great step in that direction.

“With all parties now talking the language of climate change, we must ensure that this amounts to more than platitudes.  EARL was based on the continued dramatic expansion of aviation, and was unsupportable by anyone who takes climate change seriously.  The new proposal fits much better into a general improvement in the public transport connections in the Lothians and beyond, and we are happy to support it.”

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Notes to editors

1. The Edinburgh Airport Rail Link project is heavily criticised by Scotland’s leading sustainable transport organisations: http://www.transformscotland.org.uk/info/news/2007/2007-06-20.html and http://www.transformscotland.org.uk/info/docs/2006-05-15_EARL_evidence.pdf

The EARL scheme was a brainchild of the previous administration and promoted by Libdem Ministers as part of a plan to treble air travel in Scotland and plough over £1.5bn into major road expansion.

http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/site/id/5081/title/TRANSPORT_LIBDEM_MINISTER_PRESSES_ON_WITH_POLLUTING_SCOTLAND.html