Agenda item

Motion by Councillor Lang - Lothian Buses and Changes to Routes

Motion by Councillor Lang - Lothian Buses and Changes to Routes


“Committee notes;


1.         the hard work of Lothian Buses to maintain a sustainable network of bus services following the reduction in passenger demand and changes to travel patterns which followed the COVID pandemic.


2.         how the financial pressures on Lothian and other bus companies intensified following the ending of the Scottish Government's COVID support grants but, despite this, the company has continued to invest heavily in its fleet and workforce.


3.         Lothian Buses announcement in May 2023 involving significant changes to a number of long-standing and established bus services, some of which have raised substantial concern within affected communities.


4.         that Lothian Buses operates on a commercial basis and does not, as a matter of course, either consult or brief ward councillors on substantive route changes before they are made public, as shown by the May 2023 announcement.


Committee recognises that current governance arrangements and legal requirements mean it is neither possible nor appropriate for ward councillors to have a direct role in deciding the routes and timetables provided by Lothian Buses.


Nevertheless, Committee agrees:


A.         that Lothian Buses, as a company majority owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, it should be possible for local ward members to be consulted, engaged and briefed before significant changes to bus services are announced.


B.         that such engagement must always respect commercial sensitivity and confidentiality.


C.        that the Transport & Environment Convener should write to Lothian Buses to request a mechanism by which two-way communication with local councillors can be improved when route changes are being considered and in advance of final announcements being made.”