EBUG is now occasionally posting contributions by ‘guest writers’ on our website. EBUG may, or may not, agree in full with their content, but believes they are interesting contributions to discussions on the future of buses in and around Edinburgh.
In the first post, Stacey O’Flaherty of the Ratho Bus Working Group reflects on a year of campaigning for better bus services for Ratho.
As well as leading the Working Group, Stacey led the ‘lovemybus’ youth programme, engaging with over 10,000 young people across Scotland in 22 Council areas, working with nine bus operators visiting nurseries, Outdoor Forest Schools, Primary and High and ASN Schools, Scouting and GirlGuiding groups.
Having fought hard for 12 months simply to get council officials to do their job on a ‘business as usual’ project with a defined annual budget it now raises lots of other questions… Why are these business as usual projects not reported on and flagged when not on track?
Why are public groups fighting for officials to look at better, smarter, greener and cheaper solutions than sticking with the status quo? This should be a matter of course.
Why are we not investing more in bus…Bus services and routes and providing operators with funding opportunities to grow in areas that are not well connected, that are new or emerging?
It takes time to change habits or build trust in services and it’s not fair for us to expect operators to take on that burden alone.
Bus is for anyone and everyone! It has to be a collaborative approach. I don’t understand the politics of it, but I understand bus and the simplicity of what it means to people and communities.
I understand living in a village what it means to feel connected. Understanding how we could live more sustainably if given the chance of a good bus!
I see blaming of governments, local authorities and operators! But they all have to work together. Operators are businesses and have to earn an income! Local authorities want value for money and government wants to reach net zero!
Without collaboration and funds these three stakeholders cannot align effectively. Recently I’ve seen some really good bus infrastructure plans but they stop short of investing in actual buses and routes in utilising the infrastructure!