TRANSPORT bosses are looking at increasing the number of inter-city trains calling at Edinburgh Park in a bid to improve access to Scotland’s fourth largest business district.
Previous calls for more trains to stop at the specially-built station serving Edinburgh Park and the Gyle failed because of concerns about lengthening journey times between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Now Transport Minister Keith Brown has confirmed the idea is being examined as part of improvements to the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line.
Edinburgh West SNP MSP Colin Keir approached Mr Brown on the issue, arguing better rail services to the business park could help stimulate investment.
Mr Keir said: “Many who work at Edinburgh Park could use this station as an alternative to commuting by car. Given the difficulties of travelling by road in western Edinburgh, it is important to encourage other forms of transport.”
More than 7000 people are employed by 21 different companies at Edinburgh Park and, together with nearby South Gyle, it ranks behind only Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen among Scotland’s biggest business districts.
Pamela Grant, development director of New Edinburgh Ltd, which owns Edinburgh Park, said: “We made quite a substantial contribution to building the station and we argued for a cost benefit analysis of stopping the trains as against extra business generated. There are 40,000 people working in the general Gyle area.”
She said there was planning consent for further office development at Edinburgh Park, but that depended on interest from occupiers.
In his letter to Colin Keir, Mr Brown said the new Airdrie-Bathgate line had improved access to Edinburgh Park and seen a 15 per cent increase in use of the station.
He added: “I can confirm that as part of the ongoing development of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme, the possibility of further Glasgow to Edinburgh inter-city trains calling at Edinburgh Park is being considered.”
The city’s economic development convener, Councillor Tom Buchanan, said: “I raised this before and the answer I got from Stewart Stevenson when he was Transport Minister was it would slow trains down too much if they stopped at both Croy and Edinburgh Park.
“I said to him, ‘Do you want a faster-growing Edinburgh or a faster-growing Croy?’ ”