We keep on reading that the trams “will only benefit a minority of Edinburgh’s population”. I have been trying to track down/calculate the actual percentage (not that the anti-tram lobby have ever come up with a figure), but in the meantime I found this somewhere.
“A person can walk about a third of a mile in 5 mins. Therefefore, on a 10 mile tram line, that covers about 7 square miles of Edinburgh residents. Total area of Edinburgh is around 40 square miles and the population is 500,000. ”
So I think that comes to about 87,000 people within a 5 minute walk of a tram stop, assuming everyone lives equally spaced out (which they don’t). That is a significant proportion of Edinburgh, especially when you think that Leith and Leith Walk is densely populated. BUT I CANNOT YET VOUCH FOR THIS NUMBER, SO PLEASE DO NOT GO QUOTING IT YET, although it does seem quite reasonable.
And if you add to that people who will catch a bus to change to a tram, or will cycle to a tram stop, or will just use the tram at some point through the day as they travel around the city, then even more people will benefit.
And other parts of the city benefit too, for example anyone catching a bus along Princes Street will benefit from there being fewer buses and so less congestion.
And of course for people living on streets that are due to experience a massive increase in traffic because of the Granton and Leith developments without trams, they will benefit from trams even if they never ever set foot on one (but I can already hear people say “ah, but the trams won’t cut car use – even TIE say so”. I’ll come to that later, but in the meantime look at this for statistical evidence that people will get out of their cars and onto the tram).