Since its formation, CRAG’s main objective has been to promote the development of an integrated transport strategy for the Edinburgh travel to work area. To achieve this, we have organised several campaigns to highlight the lack of a ‘master plan’ for the area and the imbalance between the huge sums spent on road building compared to other transport modes. Documents relating to some of these campaigns can be found in the Publications section.
Significant achievements have been:
- The 1999 launch at the Scottish Parliament of our Capital Rail proposals for an integrated transport system for the area
- Our 2001 “audacious” bid for £250 million from the Scottish Executive Public Transport Fund for five rail developments – “Five rail developments for the price of 5 miles of motorway”
- The production, in collaboration with other sustainable transport groups in the area, of the Transforming Edinburgh leaflet (early 2003)
- The launch of new proposals for reopening the Edinburgh South Suburban Railway: Crossrail 2 (August 2003)
- We have campaigned consistently from 2003 onwards in support of Edinburgh Trams by providing constructive responses to consultations and co-ordinating support from other business and environmental groups.
- In 2011 we launched a campaign for the reopening of Abbeyhill Station linked to the EGIP programme of work.
- In 2014 we gave our support the Transform Scotland’s “Inter-City Express” campaign, which is calling for the upgrade of the east coats city links from the Central Belt to Perth, Inverness and Aberdeen to 21st century standards.
The Inter-City Express programme would transform rail travel, bringing all seven of Scotland’s cities closer together – with a safe, civilised and sustainable mode of transport. The key features of the programme are to:
- Extend planned electrification from Perth to Dunblane, in conjunction with doubling and electrifying the largely single-track Inverness-Perth railway – transforming its capacity and capability for both passenger and freight traffic.
- Reduce journey times from Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee to the Central Belt through electrification and extensive doubling of the network.
- Take the long-neglected single track rail line from Aberdeen to Inverness into the 21st Century.
- Build and electrify a new direct rail link from Perth to Edinburgh, slashing up to 35 minutes off journey times from Inverness and Perth to Edinburgh.
- Create a new Inter-City rail hub at Perth station – the catalyst for transport connectivity and urban regeneration.
What have we achieved?
Prior to 1999, there was a distinct lack of a transport vision within the City of Edinburgh Council and all the ideas for rail and tram developments were coming from pressure groups like CRAG.The landscape has transformed, with the City of Edinburgh Council now committed to a visionary transport strategy that is helping to green the city.There are now several highly successful park and ride sites at locations around the city such as Hermiston Gait,Straiton, Sheriffhall and Wallyford.Crossrail now runs from the East of Edinburgh to Bathgate and Stirling with new stations at Brunstane and Newcraighall.
The first tram line for Edinburgh now runs from York Place in the city centre to Edinburgh Airport. During its journey out it meets the new interchange at Haymarket and the Edinburgh Gateway tram/rail interchange at Gogar. The tram project is the most significant enhancement in public transport infrastructure for decades and is proving to be very popular now that it is up and running – contrary to what critics hoped.
Work is now underway (November 2019) to extend the highly successful network from York Place to Newhaven.
Can CRAG claim the credit? – well perhaps not all but we may have helped shape the new thinking on the transport policy front.
How can YOU help?
Why not become a member of CRAG and participate by coming along to our meetings and contributing to ensuring that Edinburgh gets better and more sustainable transport suited to a capital city.