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First West Lothian to operate three new contracted bus services for City of Edinburgh Council

Posted: 28th August 2020
  • Service 20 will be extended on existing route. New link to Ingliston P+R for additional interchange options. Route beyond Hermiston Gait to Chesser via Wester Hailes & Clovenstone restored. Operates hourly.
  • Service 63 builds upon existing route by extending to Balerno via Currie offering new links from these areas to Sighthill, The Gyle Centre, Kirkliston and South Queensferry and interchange to St John’s Hospital. Operates every 90 minutes.
  • Service 68 provides Turnhouse, Clermiston and Corstorphine with hourly link to The Gyle Centre.
  • Connections between services 20, 63 & 68 can all be made at The Gyle Centre.
  • Flat fares: £1.70 adult, £0.80 child (under 5’s free), with zonal day and season tickets also available as part of the First Bus network.
  • The latest innovations to the First Bus App means customers can now track their bus and get real time capacity information on their service.

First West Lothian are delighted to have won three new contracts to operate contracted bus service routes in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council.

First West Lothian will be taking over operation of Services 20, 63 and 68 from Monday, August 31st and are offering some exciting extensions on the existing routes which offer new connections and journey opportunities for customers in the areas served.

Service 20 will run hourly from Ratho to Hermiston Gate, which is an upgrade on the existing route offering new journey opportunities beyond Hermiston Gait to Chesser via Wester Hailes & Clovenstone restored along with a new link to the Ingliston Park and Ride.

Service 63, which runs every 90 minutes between South Queensferry and the Gyle, has also been extended to Balerno via Currie offering new links from these areas to Sighthill, The Gyle Centre, Kirkliston and South Queensferry. The new service operates every 90 minutes.

Improvements to the service 68 provides Turnhouse, Clermiston and Corstorphine with an hourly link to The Gyle Centre.

Flat fare of £1.70 for adults and £0.80 for children (under 5’s free) are available, along with zonal day, season tickets and One Ticket, also available as part of the wider First Bus network.

First West Lothian will monitor use of the services in the first four weeks with a view to increasing service levels further as demand rises and Covid 19 restrictions continue to ease.

First Bus are leading the way on innovation in bus travel and now passengers can also now choose the best time of day to travel with the new Space Checker tool, which predicts how busy the bus will be in advance using the latest passenger trend data. This latest innovation has been launched with the aim of giving customers more options to be flexible and agile on when they travel with the impact of the global pandemic continuing to affect our daily lives.

Customers using these services will also now be able to plan their journey, buy their ticket, track their bus to their local stop and see how much capacity is available on their service in real time all from the First Bus App available on mobile and tablet from the Apple and Android stores.

Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director at First West Lothian: “First West Lothian are thrilled to make their return as provider of this extended local bus service in these communities and we look forward to working in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council in delivering them to a high standard.

“The wellbeing of customers and our team is always our number one priority, and I would like to reassure these communities travelling with us again, that we have introduced on board a number of safety measures to ensure passengers and staff remain safe, whilst we continue to keep people moving.

“I would like to thank customers in advance for their ongoing patience and co-operation in these difficult times and would encourage them to use our online developments to help them plan their journey”

“I would also like to pay tribute to all my colleagues at First West Lothian who have been superb throughout the last six months and have helped keep the key workers of the region moving. As the lockdown continues to ease, we all have a crucial role to play in getting the wider population moving again safely.”

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “We are pleased to be able to continue these services which provide essential transport links to people living in Ratho, South Queensferry, Clermiston and Turnhouse, in partnership with First Bus.

“Extensions to the routes will connect travellers with key areas including the Gyle, as well as improved interchanges with Edinburgh Trams at Ingliston Park and Ride for Ratho residents and to St John’s Hospital for people living in Balerno and Currie.

“While these services will continue to operate at a reduced level, as they have done during the global pandemic and consequent lockdown, we will work with First to increase frequencies as soon as patronage levels rise and associated fare income can help to cover the cost.”

Full details of the new services including timetables and fare information is available on the First West Lothian website.  www.firstscotlandeast.com

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