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Lothian Bus Changes Loom

Lothian single journey fares will rise by 10p on April 10 alongside the introduction of a new Penicuik bound route and further local timetable alterations.

The bi-annual Lothian Bus service alterations are again upon us. Under a sweeping review of their route network, timetables and fare structure, the public transport operator is set to introduce a new express service from Penicuik to the city, as well as conduct further refinements to their Midlothian bound timetables.

Contrary to their express service X37, already operating between Edinburgh City Centre and Penicuik, the new X47 will run from Ladywood to Granton between 1545 and 1902 every weekday evening, replacing the current 47 journeys that operate in this period. The new addition will mean that travellers from western Midlothian will have an express route to Edinburgh in both the morning (X37) and the evening (X47). Passengers on the service X47 will only alight at select stops between Mortonhall and Surgeon’s Hall, much like the X37, though Cameron Toll will be served too. The University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush campus will be served by the new service, meaning Lothian will provide four routes to the campus (15, 37, X47 and 67). For nightshift workers, the early morning 47s from Granton will be replaced with X47s, terminating at Penicuik Ladywood as usual.

In addition to these other express services, service 15 will be fully replaced by the limited stop X15, eradicating some journeys which still stopped at every stop. This will continue to run all day, omitting various stops between Pentland View and Tollcross and again between Abbeyhill and Musselburgh Ship Inn. There have been other minor timetable amendments, so do check before traveling on Monday 11 April.

Minor amendments have also been made to services 37 and 40. Some early morning journeys to Easter Bush will now run to and from Penicuik on the 37 and the 40 will observe an altered route in Musselburgh, a one-way loop via Mall Avenue, Olive Bank Road and Newhailes Road.  However, despite local pleas, Auchendinny will remain without a Sunday service, with the 40 continuing to terminate at Roslin.

Accompanying the changes on Sunday April 10 will be a fare rise of 10p to single adult and child tickets, taking the cost to £1.60 and 80p respectively. The young person concession card fare will rise by 5p to £1.05. Pre-purchased tickets will remain valid and no changes are being made to Daytickets, Ridacards, NightBus tickets and Day&Night fares.

Jim McFarlane, General Manager, at Lothian Buses, said:

We’re very pleased that this latest timetable and fare review has allowed us to improve services while also maintaining prices for the vast majority of our regular and loyal passengers. The changes we have made are a direct response to feedback from our customers and we’re in a position to introduce them thanks to continued strong business performance over many years.

As one of Edinburgh’s largest employers we are delighted to have the opportunity to add to our team. We are also pleased that Lothian Buses will be able to benefit the city’s environment with further investment in low emission vehicles.

The new timetables can be found here, by clicking the respective service numbers: X15, 37/X37, 40, 47/X47 and 67.

Midlothian Council’s new tourist circular to and from Newtongrange Mining Museum, stopping (in order) at Dalkeith, Melville Nursery (Dobbies), Straiton, Roslin, Loanhead and Lasswade before returning to Newtongrange, will also commence on Monday April 18. Fares are yet to be confirmed but the service will be operated by Prentice Coaches as the number 527 on an hourly basis from 10am to 3pm seven days a week. The coach operator was the preferred bidder with a tender of £54,100.

Speaking in February, when the launch was announced, Councillor Jim Bryant, the cabinet member for economic development, said:

The bus will start and finish at the National Mining Museum of Scotland and could drop passengers near or at visitor attractions including Dalkeith Country Park, Butterfly World, Boghall Farm visitor Centre and Rosslyn Chapel.

The Borders Railway is a major opportunity to maximise visitor numbers to the county and boost the economy. We want to make sure we explore every opportunity to do so.

However costing the council £69,100 per year, the new service has been met with criticism from some tax payers who believe the outlay is excessive during increased council spending cuts.

What’s your view? Let us know below or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.