Motion by Councillor Macinnes - Withdrawal of Contract Extensions for Supported Bus Services 20, 63 and 68:
1. notes the recent officer briefing regarding the decision by First Bus to withdraw from the contract extensions for the supported bus services 20, 63 and 68.
2. notes that these services all operate in West and South West Edinburgh and offer vital transport links, particularly to rural West and South West Edinburgh and the negative impact on residents if they cease.
3. notes the 20 service provides vital links to Ratho and Ratho Station and the Calders.
4. notes the 63 service provides vital cross links between Balerno, Currie, Hermiston, Edinburgh Park, Gyle, Kirkliston and Queensferry to healthcare, employment and shopping.
5. notes the current and planned level of housing construction in West Edinburgh served by the 68, and the impact on public transport requirements that this will bring.
6. notes that without effective public transport links that there will be a subsequent increase in private car usage and related congestion and pollution impacts for Westand South West Edinburgh, which is likely to undermine efforts to reduce car use inside the city.
7. thanks officers for their ongoing work to deliver alternative options for the impacted communities.
8. requests that, alongside work to deliver these contract extensions, officers consider whether budgets would allow temporary investment in community transport options to help keep the impacted communities served in the short term.
9. requests that officers and the Transport Convener meet with the affected Community Councils to inform them of what actions the Council might take or encourage to help meet community needs.
10. commits to ensuring that the current level of public transport service for West and South West Edinburgh continues and that any transition to a new service provider is as seamless as possible.
11. requests that the Transport Convener meets and discusses the issue of industry wide driver shortage with the CPT and provides a detailed report to the next Transport and Environment Committee which outlines the key issues and what positive steps can be taken, industry wide and locally, to encourage greater recruitment and retention of public transport drivers.”