1. Edinburgh City Centre Transformation.
You can send in your own response by 28 June. In EBUG’s response we say that we broadly welcome the strategy, but there are major challenges in delivering it, especially funding and sustaining a programme over 10 years. There should be much more emphasis on building on Edinburgh’s bus network’s existing strengths, rather than fundamentally reorganising it; and there needs to be more focus on bus priority and enforcement. Unfortunately we’re far from convinced by the 3 ‘flagship’ public transport proposals (a ‘Hopper’ bus, a city centre tram loop, and interchange); not necessarily in principle, but because they documents are so vague about them.
2. Meadows – George Street scheme
This may seem to be a cycling and walking project, but there are bus issues too. We’ll be welcoming the bus priority measures, whilst expressing our concerns about ‘floating bus stops’, the potential conflict between cyclists and bus users/pedestrians; and possibly the relocation of some bus stops. We’ll be asking about the pavement widths near bus stops.
3. Bus lane operating hours.
Probably in September and October, the Council will be consulting on extending these.
4. Bus stop ‘rationalisation’.
The Council intends to reduce the number of bus stops, in order to speed up journey times. We agree that some sites are too close together, but it needs to tackled very carefully, to ensure excessive walking distances do not result. This is another work in progress.
5. New buses.
Lothian Buses has just announced that all new buses from next year will have two wheelchair/buggy spaces. You’ll remember the discussion at our public meeting, so this is a big step forward. There still a number of ‘loose ends’ to tie up to ensure this works for everyone, but congratulations to those who were involved in the campaign! Lothian Buses will also be appointing a specialist in disability matters.
We’re hoping to set up an EBUG website, where we would post news, events details, papers such as our responses to consultations, and perhaps host discussions on relevant issues of interest.
That’s all for now. We hope to send out further occasional newsletters in future.