Improving transport links to South East Edinburgh would act as a catalyst to unlocking significant economic development in the area, a major new study has revealed.

The ‘South East Edinburgh Transport – Economic Potential Study’, commissioned by Edinburgh Council in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Edinburgh University, NHS Lothian and Edinburgh Trams concludes that additional public transport options will be required to maximise the area’s potential.

South East Edinburgh has been earmarked as one of Edinburgh and Scotland’s  key growth areas since the 1990s.   The study highlights the importance of the planned Borders Railway and junction improvements on the Edinburgh City Bypass. Despite good links with the trunk road network, the  report also concludes the perceived lack of adequate public transport accessibility, particularly a fixed link, is an impediment to inward investment.

The overall economic benefit to Edinburgh City Region from a step change in transport connectivity – from car to Tram, or similar – was estimated to be in the region of £5 – 5.8bn for Waverley to Musselburgh and £3.8 – 4.5bn for Waverley to Dalkeith.

Transport Convener, Cllr Gordon Mackenzie, said: “With strategic business developments in the field of biomedical research, mixed uses at Shawfair and new housing opportunities at Craigmillar, the South East area of the city has long been identified as one of Scotland ‘s key growth zones.

“Having an improved transport network, connected to the Lothians, the Borders and other parts of Edinburgh itself, is crucial to exploit fully the economic potential for the area and Scotland as a whole.”

The study findings will now be fed into the SE Scotland Strategic Development Plan process and also the Local Transport Strategy for Edinburgh.