Missed opportunity to improve city buses

As we all know, money is tight among Councils. In Edinburgh and elsewhere, aspirations to improve bus services compete for funding with other worthwhile services. Bus routes, of course, operate on a commercial basis. But the infrastructure they use, the roads, the bus stops, almost everything that doesn’t move, is the Council’s responsibility; as is providing socially necessary services which can’t break even.

So how can the Council maximise funding for improvements?

One source is ‘Section 75’ funding. Section 75 payments are funds secured from developers to pay for facilities needed because of the development; such as improved transport, school buildings etc. So if a developer builds new houses, or offices, the Council can secure payments to cover the cost of public transport improvements needed to serve the development.

We wondered how the City of Edinburgh Council uses this mechanism. So we lodged a Freedom of Information request with the Council, asking how much Section 75 money it had secured to improve bus services.

The FOI request revealed that, between 2015 and 2022, CEC secured a total of £84,230,232 in Section 75 payments.

Continue reading “Missed opportunity to improve city buses”

No.7 – Members’ Bulletin February 2022

Dear EBUG member,
This is the seventh of our occasional updates for members.
Council Elections

Our main news, and the reason for circulating this bulletin now, is that we’ve completed our first ‘Council election event’. In the last Bulletin we reported that with Council elections due in May, the Committee was thinking of running hustings/a review of party manifestos. Covid-Omicron put a stop to that, so instead we:

  • Published an ‘EBUG manifesto’ on our website
  • Invited written questions from EBUG members, and by social media
  • Submitted the questions to the 5 political parties currently on Edinburgh Council
  • We’re now ABOUT TO publish the parties’ responses on our website, so keep an eye on edinburghbususers.group

Continue reading “No.7 – Members’ Bulletin February 2022”

EBUG Council election ‘event’

Ahead of the Council election in May, instead of a ‘live hustings’, EBUG sent our members’ questions to the political parties currently on the City of Edinburgh Council. We sent the questions to the parties’ Transport Spokespersons on 1 February, requesting replies by 18 February.

The questions are anonymised, the replies are unedited. Here’s what we received:

Council Elections – Vote for Good Quality Public Transport for everyone!

Here are EBUG’s key ‘asks’ of all parties and candidates standing in the City of Edinburgh Council elections in May 2022.

Edinburgh Bus User Group (EBUG)
Manifesto for the 2022 Council Elections

Quality Public Transport for Everyone

EBUG believes in a working partnership between the Council and bus operators which recognises that each should focus on what it can do, and what it does best.

The next Council must Increase the budget and capacity of the Council bus team and focus more pro-actively on delivering tangible improvements for bus users. Continue reading “Council Elections – Vote for Good Quality Public Transport for everyone!”

Standing for election in 2022? Voting? What do the party Manifestos say about bus services?

Congratulations to those candidates who have already been selected by their parties to stand in the City of Edinburgh Council election in 2022 (& those still to be confirmed).

EBUG is available to make helpful suggestions for party manifestos . Our guidance enumerates clearly the priority steps needed  to ensure access to good quality public transport for everyone. Continue reading “Standing for election in 2022? Voting? What do the party Manifestos say about bus services?”

No.6 – Members’ Bulletin October 2021

Dear EBUG member,
This is the sixth of our occasional updates for members.
  • We held our AGM on June 17, and achieved our objective of updating the constitution. We also elected and welcomed Gail onto the Committee. There are still a few Committee places left, so anyone interested please put your name forward! (email secretary@edinburghbususers.group).
    At the first Committee meeting after the AGM, we reelected our office-bearers: Harald Tobermann (Chair), Chris Day (secretary), and Bob Moseley (Treasurer)

Continue reading “No.6 – Members’ Bulletin October 2021”