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
As this Bulletin ‘went to press’, we had not received replies from all 5 parties, despite sending the questions out on 1 February with replies due in by 18 February.
First of all, thanks to everyone who sent in questions. We edited some, and condensed others, but you should be able to spot yours (names are anonymised). Secondly, do let us know what you think of the parties’ replies, which we posted in full. As a non-party political group, we might feed back your comments in general terms, while obviously being careful not to ‘endorse’ any party.
Perhaps even more important for EBUG in the long-term, is that we’re putting out a call for EBUG members to join the Committee. A long-standing member is leaving Edinburgh, and we’re now rather low on numbers. No doubt you’re thinking: ‘hang on, what would I be letting myself in for?’ So, to make it a bit less intimidating (!) we’re having a short informal ‘Open House’ immediately before the next Committee meeting, at
Thorn House, (east end of) Rose Street, Edinburgh
17:30 to 18:00 on Thursday 3 March
When we’d be pleased to chat to you about what’s involved. And if you have the time and inclination you could sit through the Committee meeting afterwards (no obligation!). We could especially do with members to the south/west side of Edinburgh, and younger members, so if you know anyone there, get them along. (Even if not a member at present; we’ll quickly sign them up)
The Future of “Floating” Bus Stops
In the last bulletin we mentioned that the long-term future of floating bus stops was unclear. But it now looks like the Council intends to continue building them in permanent schemes. This became clear when plans were published on the Council’s website for the ‘Meadows to George Street corridor’. We wished we could endorse the scheme wholeheartedly, as it includes very beneficial bus priorities. However, some of the detail is very poor, so we told the Council we may have to object formally unless it’s improved, in particular:
Clarity on the ‘choke’ on Bank Street
Better bus stop arrangements
In other news
Among other activities, Committee members had one of our occasional meetings with Lothian Buses management (which had been interrupted by Covid), and with their disability officer; and we’ve joined the Scottish Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sustainable Transport.
Concessionary (free) bus travel was extended to the under 22s from the end of January. Perhaps you, or someone you know, is already using it? Unfortunately getting the relevant card is complicated and protracted, as Transport Scotland has, frankly, made a bit of a mess of it. Sorry but we can’t suggest any solutions other than to persist; it comes through in the end!
Finally, EBUG featured in February’s Edinburgh Reporter.
Your EBUG Committee