RELBUS responds to Competition & Markets Authority enquiry

RELBUS has provided further evidence of the improvements to the local bus service as a result of East Coast Buses taking over from First at the end of the summer. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had been concerned about lack of competition on part of the route, but RELBUS argues that this is far from being the case with no less than four fully independent and thriving bus operators in the area, and the quality and frequency of services into Edinburgh and across the county continues to improve.

You can read our response (written by RELBUS chair Harry Barker) here.

New bus operator steps up in East Lothian

Following the announcement of a takeover of First Bus in East Lothian by new company East Coast Buses, (a subsidiary of Lothian Buses), Councillor Michael Veitch, Transport convenor for East Lothian Council, said:

“This should not only secure the future of the Dunbar and North Berwick corridors currently served by First, but will go further in creating an entirely new operation dedicated to serving our county. An integral part of this is the planned retention of the North Berwick and Musselburgh depots and their staff which is hugely welcome. This is a hugely significant development for East Lothian and secures vastly improved public transport provision for local people in the future.”

East Coast Buses Ltd will introduce the following services from 14 Aug 2016:
•107 – A new 60 minute timetable introduced 7 days a week (30 minute Mon-Fri peak). Buses run West End, Meadowbank, The Jewel, A1, Haddington and East Linton to Dunbar. This part-replaces First Service X6/106.
•124/X24 – A new 30 minute timetable introduced Monday to Saturday and 60 minute on Sundays. Buses run Semple Street, Meadowbank, Portobello, Musselburgh, Prestonpans, Longniddry, Aberlady, Gullane and Dirleton to North Berwick. Three morning and afternoon buses will run Limited Stop as X24. This part-replaces First Bus 124/X24.
•We will continue with the following commercial and school services:
•124 – 1x morning and 1x afternoon journey between Longniddry and Preston Lodge HS.
•125 – 2x morning and 2x afternoon journeys between Musselburgh and North Berwick HS.
•126 – 1x morning and 1x afternoon journey between Aberlady and North Berwick HS.
•127 – 1x morning and 1x afternoon journey between Longniddry and North Berwick HS.

A comprehensive marketing and communications plan will be put in place to prepare the new services for operation, including roadshows within the local communities. This work will be done in close co-operation with East Lothian Council.”