Edinburgh Airport is to spend more than £20m to improve access for taxis and deliver other vehicle access improvements.
The airport said the first phase of the project will deliver a new East Terminus next summer, which will house its licensed taxi operation (black cabs and private hire vehicles) for both pick-up and drop-off, ‘making it easier for passengers to get a taxi’.
Taxis and other vehicles (right of picture) approach the Edinburgh Airport terminal building
The current rank will move from the ground floor of the multi-storey car park and to the east side of the airport, adjacent to the tram stop. Taxis will be able to access the facility by using the road over the old runway, which the airport said would reduce congestion on Eastfield Road at peak times.
The East Terminus will also provide a covered walkways for passengers and a new passenger bridge with a new waiting area for passengers with restricted mobility and a self-service kiosk for booking private taxis.
The second phase of the project will deliver a new access road, which the airport said would further ease congestion on Eastfield Road, and see the all drop-offs move to the new facility.
Chief executive Gordon Dewar said: ‘As an airport, we provide quick and easy travel to destinations all over the world – that trip starts and ends here, so making it easier for people to get to and from the airport is important to us.
‘By investing in our infrastructure, we’ll be able to deliver better access for public transport and increase those travel options for passengers, directly improving their journey.’
The plans to not appear to include any improvements to public transport specifically and appear to go against a recent attempts by airports to discourage passengers from travelling by car such as Heathrow’s proposed ultra-low emissions zone.
A spokesperson told Transport Network: ‘We speak to companies on a regular basis to expand public transport links and that work continues.’
However, the airport's plans were backed by the city council's transport and environment convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes. She told Transport Network: 'We want to ensure travelling to, from and around Edinburgh is as straightforward as possible, offering transport choices for those who live and visit here.
'By making it easier to travel by taxi, these improvements will encourage people to choose this as an alternative to private car journeys, which supports our ambitions for improving air quality. Plans for Eastfield Road, and to provide better access for public transport, will go further to ease congestion.
'In Edinburgh, taxis are subject to a strong licensing regime, including emissions standards, which aim to limit their impact on air quality, in line with our plans to reduce emissions through initiatives like a Low Emissions Zone.'
Traffex Scotland and Bridges Scotland, the devolved nation's only dedicated events for the roads and bridges sectors under one roof, take place at the SEC Glasgow on 13 and 14 November.