Travel Information | ECSA

Travel Information

There are a variety of different ways you can get to college, depending on which campus you’re based at and where you live. Use the information below to help you find the transport option that will work best for you. We would always encourage you to walk, cycle, or use public transport instead of driving - these modes are better for your health and the environment, and nearly always cheaper too!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Low Carbon Travel Officers Alex (Sighthill & Midlothian) and Claire (Granton & Milton Road), or pop into one of our travel drop-ins:

  • Granton: 10am-2pm on Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Midlothian: 10am-2pm on Thursdays and Fridays
  • Milton Road: 10am-2pm on Tuesdays
  • Sighthill: 10am-2pm on Mondays and Fridays

For route planning across multiple transport methods, you can use the Traveline Journey Planner.

Walking part or all of the way to college has a multitude of benefits: it improves your physical and mental well-being, increases your productivity, and saves you money. If you currently get public transport to college, why not try getting off a few stops early and walking the rest of the way?

Many of our campuses have very scenic shared walking/cycling routes nearby. These can be useful for getting to college, or simply having a relaxing lunchtime stroll. For example, Granton is well connected to the network of paths that runs throughout north Edinburgh. Sighthill is located nearby to the Union Canal, and Milton Road is nearby to the Innocent Railway path. The OpenCycleMaps website is useful tool to find these quiet pedestrianised paths, which could offer a more relaxing route to campus.

walking-union-canal
Union Canal, leading to Sighthill Campus
innocent-railway
Innocent Railway path, leading to Milton Road campus
forthquarter park
The Forthquarter Park, just next to Granton campus

To plan your journey, you can use the Cyclestreets website. Once you have entered your start and end points and a speed of travel, you will be provided with a suggested route. There are options above the map to change this route to a harder or easier one depending on your cycling ability.

There is secure cycling storage on all campuses. To get access to these storage areas, you will need to send an email to sustainability@edinburghcollege.ac.uk expressing your interest. There are bike tools available near to the secure stores at each campus. There will also be free Dr Bike sessions at all Freshers days where you can bring your bike to have a checkup.

All campuses have showers available for cyclists to use. More information about cycling facilities can be found in the College's Sustainability team's campus-specific leaflets:

If you are interested in receiving cycle training - whether you are a complete beginner, or just needing some more confidence before cycling on roads - then send an email to alex@ecsa.scot and Jen.Murray@edinburghcollege.ac.uk expressing your interest. We can fit this around your schedule, so just let us know when would work best for you and we can get a time arranged for training.

Lothian Buses have a many services that stop near all four of the Edinburgh College campuses. Their website and phone apps let you plan your route, as well as track the progress of your bus.

There are also printed copy of relevant route maps for all campuses at or near the main entrance to every building.

If you anticipate using the bus on a regular basis, it may be worth buying a Ridacard. The pricing for these can be seen below. These are set up through Lothian Buses Travelshops, located on Hanover Street and Waverley Bridge. There will also be an opportunity to set up a Ridacard at your campuses Freshers day.

lothian buses ridacard prices

If you are travelling to Sighthill campus, there is also the option of taking the tram. Lothian Bus ridacards can be used on the trams, as long as you activate your card at the activation point available on every tram platform within half an hour of travelling. If you don’t have a ridacard, you can also buy City Zone tickets (£1.70 for a single) on the platform before travel - do bear in mind that if you don’t buy your ticket before getting on the tram you will be subject to a £10 charge. More information about the trams is available on the Edinburgh Trams website.

Below is a copy of the tram route map - for Sighthill campus you should get off at the Bankhead stop, which is just down the road from the campus.

tram route map

Both our Midlothian and Milton Road campuses are within a five minute walk of a local train station. Midlothian campus is by the Eskbank train station, and Milton Road is by the Brunstane station. Sighthill campus is also approximately a 15 minute walk from the Edinburgh Park station.

ScotRail have information about season tickets on their website here.

Sharing your drive to college with other students is a great way to save money and reduce your emissions. Why not have a chat to your classmates to see if you are driving in from the same area of town? You can split the fuel costs and enjoy a more social journey.

More information on our own lift sharing scheme will be coming soon!

Our Sighthill, Milton Road, and Midlothian campuses are situated near city Park and Rides. These facilities offer free/cheap parking, and it's usually very easy to find somewhere to park. You can then get a bus or train (or maybe even cycle!) the rest of the way into college.

 

  • If you are travelling to Sighthill, you can park at the Hermiston Park and Ride, to then get Lothian Buses numbers 24, 34, 35 or 63 to campus.
  • If you are travelling to Milton Road, you can park at the Newcraighall Park and Ride, then get a train from Newcraighall station to Brunstane station.
  • If you travelling to Midlothian, you can park at Sheriffhall Park and Ride, to then get the Lothian bus number 49 to campus.

 

Limited parking is available at each campus. Parking permits must be displayed on your vehicle at all times.

You can apply for a parking permit by picking up a form from your campus reception. Please collect your parking permit from reception 3 days after submitting. You should note that a parking permit does not guarantee you a parking space. We would always recommend you use on of the above methods of transport, whenever possible.

All returning students should apply for a new car parking permit every year.

Fuel efficient driving tips.

Here's some tips on how to save fuel - and thus money and emissions - whilst driving. The average driver racks up around 10,000 mile a year, so even small improvements to your fuel economy will add up into big savings. ECSA will also be running free training for students on how to drive more economically: look out for this soon!

Know where you're going?

Before setting off, look at how you can get to your destination. Using a sat-nav can help you take the most direct route.

Not so fast!

Drive at a consistent speed and don’t accelerate suddenly. A car uses the most amount of fuel when under acceleration. Setting off and slowing down gradually will not only save you fuel but also cut down on wear of the clutch, tyres, and engine. This also applies to when you are up to speed - feathering the throttle to keep the car at a constant speed using tiny adjustment is better than completely taking your foot of the throttle and then reapplying the throttle to speed back up. Sometimes it is better to slow down, relax and enjoy the drive.

Braking up the wrong tree

Care about your braking. When you brake you turn all the energy used to accelerate into waste heat energy. The harder you stamp on the brake the more heat is create. This heat can cause the disks and pads to heat up and this can lead to increased wear. Push the brake gradually to slow the vehicle. Careful observation and anticipating hazards will also make it easier to break earlier.

Lift and coast

Another way of saving fuel is using the 'lift and coast' method of slowing down. This has been used in motorsports for decades. When you approach a junction, rather than braking, simply take your foot off the throttle while keeping the car in gear. The drag from the air acting on the car will slow it down. You should do this carefully, well in advance of your final stopping point, and in conjunction with normal breaking. This technique reduces fuel use, and also means that when you do brake, you will have less wear as your brakes are working at a lower speed.

Be careful of other cars tailgating. This technique slows down without showing your brake lights to other cars. If someone is too close behind your, or not paying proper attention, you may have an incident. If you think the car behind is to close lightly push the brake and your brake light will come on. This will tell the other driver you are slowing down and should act accordingly.

Under pressure

Having your tyre pressure at the correct value is vital for saving fuel but also for keeping your car on the road in hazardous conditions. Under-inflated tyres have an increased contact-area with the road. This can lead to more resistance between the car and the road, making your engine work harder and use mroe fuel. On the other hand, if your tyre is overinflated you reduce the contact-area with the road. This can increase the chance on you losing control (especially in wet or icy conditions). You should also check the tread on your tyres - by law all your tyres should have at least 1.6mm of tread on them. Check your handbook or tyre sidewall for information on your cars optimum tyre pressure.

Car healthcare

Servicing is also vital for your car. It keeps it running smoothly and efficiently - and thus ensures it doesn't have to work as hard and uses less fuel. You can easily learn online how to do a basic service yourself - e.g., changing the oil and engine filters. This will also help you save money on maintenance costs.

Over-encumbered?

A car is really useful for transporting bulky or heavy items - but you should avoid carrying excess weight where possible. Leave anything you don't need on that journey (roof rack? child seats?) at home. Reducing your car's weight by even 10kg can save you fuel. If you want to really try and save weight, you could only fill your tank to its half-way point. This can save between 20kg and 40kg of weight, and thus fuel. Only do this if you know you will have enough fuel for your journey, and if you know where fuel stations are along the way - you don't want to get stranded.

Feeling the heat?

If you feel hot when driving, is it better to use air-conditioning (A/C) or open a window? Both A/C and opening a window with increase the workload on the engine - the first uses more energy, the second increases air-resistance. But the severity of the impact on fuel depends on context:

  • Below 50mph, for example in stop-start city driving, it is generally better to open the window than to use A/C.
  • Above 50mph it is generally better to use A/C, as opening a window creates a lot of drag on the car. At that speed the engine has done its main job of accelerating the car, so you can spare some power for the air conditioning.
  • If you have a car with a small power output (80bhp and below) then using the A/C will have a big impact on fuel-economy. If you have a car with a bigger power output (100bhp and above) then having the A/C on will have relatively less of an impact on fuel economy.

You want to cut as clean a hole through the air as you can. The more drag created by your car means the more the engine has to work. Have a spoiler might look cool and help you on the track, but on the roads it will only cost you money and fuel. Even having a dirty car can increase drag! Little things like this can make a big difference over time.

Get in touch!

If you have any other tips or disagree with what we have said we would love to hear from you. Please also let us know if you have tried any of our tips and found them useful! We have an office on every campus and welcome you to come in. You can also contact us on social media and the website.