It seems these local changes are part of wider problems – now there’s a surprise. Daniel Johnson, our MSP, has sent me the attached, including his comments, from Lothian Buses which gives details of the changes. The more communities involved the better.
Dear Joan Weir, further to my previous email, I have received the following urgent response from Lothian Buses.
”Thank you for your email of 10 May regarding changes to our services, specifically the withdrawal of service 41 and its replacement with service 9 and 47/47B. Our Communications Director Gaynor Marshall had asked me to reply to you directly.”
“Following the cessation of Scottish Government support funding for the bus industry, bus companies throughout the country have been reviewing the viability of their networks taking into account cost pressures, driver availability and passenger volumes which have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.”
“Lothian is not immune to these pressures and we have conducted our own review which has included investing in areas where changing travel patterns have increased demand, ensuring capacity meets demand in other areas and timetables that are designed for reliability. Unlike many other areas of the country we have ensured that no part of our existing network has lost their bus service and early morning, late evening and weekend journeys continue.”
“When making changes there were a number of considerations taken in to account when altering the route. Passenger volumes on the southern leg of service 41 has for a number of years been under subscribed and this change is part of an overall plan to address this and move the route towards financial viability.”
“When conducting a network review of this nature we firstly analyse passenger journeys both via ticketing information and onboard checks to determine the use of the service and the journeys that current passengers are making.”
“The lowest demand was found to be the cross city centre section between the city centre and the route south of Potterrow. As a final consideration, you may be aware that the George Street First New Town project will see the removal of buses from George Street and at that point service 41 would not be able to operate via its current cross city centre route, this along with the desire in the City Centre Transformation scheme to reduce the number of buses on Princes Street were both also taken in to account.”
“Customers on the southern end of the route will have the new replacement service 9 which will follow the current route from King’s Buildings to Potterrow then via Nicolson Square, Leith Street and Broughton Street to Muirhouse.”
“Connections are available from service 9 at Nicolson Square for Queensferry Street/Queensferry Road, South Bridge for Princes Street and Broughton Street/Picardy Place for connections with Edinburgh Trams.”
“Additionally our service 24 will continue to serve Blackford, Marchmont and the Grange and provides connections to Queensferry Street/Queensferry Road at Lothian Road as well as stopping on Princes Street and Frederick Street.”
“With regards to consultation, we are statutorily required to give affected local authorities a minimum of 28 days’ notification of the full details of any changes prior to registering the new or amended services with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.”
“This registration process must take place a minimum of 42 days prior to any change being introduced, followed by information to the public no later than 21 days prior to the introduction of any changes. All of these periods of notification and registration have been followed and the changes to our network will take place on Sunday 28 May.”’ (end of Lothian Buses response)”
“It is disappointing that Lothian Buses has no plans to have reviews of the changes once they have been implemented later this month. However, I appreciate this is a sensitive matter and I will be more than happy to continue to share any concerns I receive with the changes. Please feel free to share this email with your local community. In addition, you may wish to submit your own comments to Lothian Buses directly; this can be done here”
“The Scottish Government had the opportunity to support our local community and continue its support for local bus services. However, their continuation to pressure for the cessations has resulted in the recent fare hikes and route changes. The situation we are in now in Edinburgh was entirely avoidable if the Scottish Government was willing to listen to communities instead of pursuing spending cuts in its budget………kind regards Daniel.”