This webpage provides guidance for students on how to travel safely to Edinburgh College campuses. It sets out government guidelines on using public transport, and provides advice and information on walking, cycling, and driving. More detailed advice can be found on the Scottish Government website here. If you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 you should not travel, and follow government advice on self-isolation.
- Planning Your Journey
- Walking & cycling
- Public Transport
- International Travel
- Travel Funding
- Edinburgh College is adopting a blended learning approach for 2021/22 following Scottish Government guidance. College staff will keep you up to date on when your timetable will be online or face-to-face. You should only come to campus if you are asked to by your lecturer.
- If you are travelling, then you should try to walk or cycle. This will reduce pressure on the public transport system and road networks, leaving space for people who really need to use them, like key workers.
- When using public transport, it is possible that travel may take longer than normal due to reduced capacity and physical distancing measures. You should plan ahead, identify alternative routes, and set off earlier in case of unexpected disruption. Avoid travelling at peak times where possible. The wearing of face coverings is mandatory on public transport unless you have an exemption.
- If you have to drive, you should plan ahead as increased traffic will likely lead to disruption and delays. Try to avoid travelling at peak times. College car park capacity is limited, and you must have a permit. A car parking permit doesn't guarantee a parking space on campus.
- Please be aware that when arriving on campus, each building will have one way systems and specific entrance and exit points to enable social distancing. For more information on health & safety procedures on campus, please see the FAQ page on the College's website.
- It is important that you read our Health and Safety Guidance for Students before entering any Edinburgh College Campus.
Edinburgh College Students Association's Travel Hub has a useful tool to help you plan your journey. It will give you a detailed breakdown of all the travel options available from your home postcode to your campus, based on the date and time you need to arrive by. You’ll then be sent an email with the best travel options for you.
Where possible, we would recommend walking or cycling to campus. Public transport is likely to experience increased disruption and delays due to the need for social distancing. Furthermore, college car parking spaces are limited, and there is no guarantee you will find a space. If you live close enough, walking and cycling will likely be the easiest and most reliable way to get to college. Plus, it’s cheap and healthy! ECSA offers free walking and cycling safety equipment such as lights and hig-vis items so you are safe while walking and cycling - get in touch on email@example.com if you're interested.
There are several signposted “quiet routes” for pedestrians and cyclists throughout Edinburgh. These keep you away from busy main roads and pavements. The City Council website has an interactive map which shows these routes, as well as cycle parking locations. To add to this network, the City Council are also introducing temporary road closures, cycle lanes, and wider pavements to make it easier to walk and cycle whilst following physical distancing. You can see information about all these closures here.
You can also use Cyclestreets. This is a useful journey planner for active travel, as there are options to see quieter routes, set your expected speed, and see a profile of the routes you can take (e.g. how hilly it is; how many traffic lights you’ll need to stop at). Don’t let the name fool you, you could use this for mapping out a quiet walking route too, the only difference would be the time it would take.
There are a range of facilities at Edinburgh College to help you cycle. If you’re using your own bike to get to campus, you can request access to our secure cycle storage areas by speaking to a member of the Security team at reception - you will just need to show your student card – or by contacting them on firstname.lastname@example.org if you aren’t required on campus as frequently. There are also showers and changing areas on all campuses, which you can also enquire about with reception. These will be cleaned regularly as part of improved campus cleaning processes put in place across the college.
Puncture repair kits and bike pumps are kept at reception desks for staff and students to use should you have to come onto campus. Some bike storage areas also have a pump.
Getting a bike
If you have a bike already, but it's needing some TLC or some new parts, the Wee Spoke Hub have cheap second hand parts.
There are several second-hand bike shops in the city where you can buy a cheap bike. Here are some suggestions:
- The Bike Station, 250 Causewayside, EH9 1UU
- Pedal Forth, 17 East Cromwell Street, EH6 6HD
- Soul Cycles, 1 Brougham Place, EH3 9HW
- Eastside Bikes, 1 Cadzow Place, EH7 5SN
- Velow Bikeworks, 19 Windsor Place, EH15 2AJ
There are also a few schemes that provide free bikes:
Due to current physical distancing advice, there will be significantly reduced capacity on public transport. It is therefore important to note that delays might be expected, and full buses will not stop for further passengers.
Face coverings are currently a legal requirement when travelling on public transport (unless you have an exemption), so plan for this. However, as you will be able to see from the links below, all public transport providers have put significant measures in place to reduce the risk of using their services. These should therefore still be considered as a reasonable transport option, to help avoid increased congestion from more people driving.
To access up to date travel times and routes for Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams you can download the Transport for Edinburgh app on Apple or Android.
The Lothian Buses website and First Buses website both have a wide range of information about safety on bard, timetables, journey planning, and ticket pricing. Guidance surrounding safe travel on both services differs slightly, so check out Lothian Buses and First Buses information depending on which buses you’ll be using.
A Lothian Buses Ridacard can be good value if you use the buses and trams a lot - but do remember that you are likely to be travelling less than usual, so it might be cheaper to just buy tickets for the day you travel, rather than a season ticket.
Now that restrictions are starting to be relaxed, there are also likely going to be roadworks and diversions due to any necessary roadworks. We’d therefore suggest you check the Council website to see if there will be any delays on your route.
Train timetables are currently subject to change, so Scotrail recommends checking your service is running 24 hours before you travel. You can do this on their website, where you can also book tickets and find guidance on how to travel safely on board.
There are train stations near almost all of our campuses:
- Brunstane station is approximately a 5 minute walk from Milton Road campus
- Eskbank station is approximately a 5 minute walk from Midlothian campus
- Edinburgh Park station is approximately a 15 minute walk from Sighthill campus
- No train stations are within easy walking distance of Granton campus, however there are multiple Lothian bus routes (24, X37, 47, 113) that arrive at the campus from both Haymarket and Waverley stations.
If you are travelling to Sighthill campus, there is also the option of taking the tram (the Bankhead stop is a few minutes walk away). Lothian Bus Ridacards can be used on the trams, as long as you activate your card on the platform before you board. You can also buy individual tickets (£1.80 for a single or £3.40 for a return) on the platform before you travel. More information about the trams is available on the Edinburgh Trams website, along with their Covid-19 guidance.
Even if you are travelling to a different campus, the tram line might still be a useful link in your journey. They run from the west of the city to the city centre (as shown in the line map below), where you can then get bus links to all other campuses whilst still using the same day-pass:
If you have to come onto a campus and use a car, lift sharing might be the better option, as you can share the costs with other passengers. If you are interested in lift sharing, you should only travel with members of your own, or extended, household. We recognise that there may be occasions when there is no alternative to travel with people out with your household. On such occasions, you should:
- share the transport with the same people each time (for example with other students in your class)
- keep to small groups of people at any one time
- maintain good ventilation by keeping the car windows open if possible
- ask everyone to wear face-coverings
- clean your hands before and after your journey
- if the vehicle is your responsibility, clean the door handles and other areas that people touch.
If this seems like the most feasible travel option for you, we have a dedicated Liftshare site for Edinburgh College studnets - this means that you can choose to keep your journeys shareable only with other students at the College. To sign up to this, go to our Liftshare site.
Parking at Edinburgh College
To be able to park in the college car park, you must have a student parking permit. New students can request a permit by emailing email@example.com or speaking to the reception team on campus (only do this if you are already on campus for classes - do not travel in just to get a parking permit). Permits must be displayed clearly in your car so they can be viewed by parking enforcement officers. Although anyone can get a permit for free, this does not guarantee you a space in the car park, as spaces are first-come-first-served.
There are ongoing restrictions on international travel in and out of Scotland. To keep up to date with this guidance, visit the Scottish Government website to see if you will need to isolate upon arrival into Scotland after any foreign travel.
To check if you are eligible for travel funding, you can use the college’s funding tool. If you are on a full time Further Education course, please make sure you complete your EMA/bursary application form. For other courses, or if you’re not sure, you can contact the student funding team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, all Further Education bursary and Education Maintenance Allowance applicants are being assessed for campus travel as normal. If the college makes the decision to deliver your course 100% online for any period of your course, you would not receive travel payments for the period you’re not required to attend campus (or placement). If you only have to attend campus for part of a week, your travel award would still be paid in full.
Students on part-time or ESOL courses who would normally apply for help with their travel from the discretionary funds should do so as normal when courses start, and will be assessed according to their individual need.