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Bus service changes

20 June

First East Scotland provides the majority of commercial bus services in West Lothian, with commercial buses making up around 80% of local bus journeys.  First East Scotland have confirmed significant changes to their network starting on 6 August 2018. Details are available on First's website.

West Lothian's Council Leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick and Executive councillor for development and transport Cathy Muldoon met with First East Scotland's Managing Director during First's recent consultation period to make the views of the West Lothian community known.

First East Scotland have made several improvements to their initial proposals as a result of feedback via their consultation, but their changes will lead to reduced services for some areas and less direct services for many.

Councillor Muldoon said: "West Lothian bus users should be aware that First East Scotland's proposals will result in the most significant change to the commercial bus network in the last decade.

"We are pleased to see that First's final proposals have taken many of the community's key points on board, such as a service for Craigshill linking to Inveralmond Community High School in Livingston, re-instating a direct link between Armadale and Whitburn via Tippethill Hospital and improving links for Dedridge in Livingston.

"However, we are concerned that some changes will negatively impact on some West Lothian communities and I know that many others will share that opinion."

Subsidies bus services

The council does not control commercial bus services but provides subsidies to approximately 20% of bus journeys at a cost of around £1.7 million per year.

Following the confirmed changes to the commercial bus network, a review into subsidised bus services in West Lothian will now have to take place. Commercial changes will mean that a number of 'links' with subsidised council services held by First Bus will be broken. This means that some subsidised routes no longer fit into the revised commercial network.

Only subsidised routes with First Bus are being reviewed. Subsidised services with other commercial providers are not affected. The number of subsidised services is not being reduced neither is the amount of funding that the council invests in subsidised bus services.

Council officers are currently working on reviewing the impact of the First Scotland East's commercial changes and designing alternative subsidised services where required. Details are expected to be announced in the near future.  

Jim Jack, Head of the council's Operational Services said: "The commercial network is changing and we need to adapt to these changes quickly to ensure that our subsidised services fit into the revised commercial network.

"Subsidising services includes the council paying for parts of some routes. For example, a commercial operator may have a bus that goes through five villages, but the council only subsidies the section of the service that links the second and third villages. Clearly if the commercial parts of that service changes, the council must look at where our subsidised services fit in to ensure that routes make sense and serves local people."

Councillor Muldoon said: "Many council-funded bus services are designed to link in with commercial routes, such as providing additional links to communities or early morning and evening services.

"Due to the large scale of the changes being implemented by First East Scotland, these services have had to be adapted to fit in with their new timetables.

"The subsidised routes provided by First will now be reviewed in light of the changes to make sure that they still achieve their stated goals and offer value for public money. Subsidised services with other commercial providers are not affected.

"We will also be speaking to other local bus operators, to see if any are looking to take the opportunity to run additional commercial services as a result of First's changes."

How is your area affected?

AreaFirst service changes
Addiewell & Loganlea

Faster route to Livingston Terminal (not via Dedridge)

Reduced frequency to Fauldhouse West Calder (every 30 mins)

No direct link to Blackburn (Service 803 removed)

New direct Link to Whitburn and Longridge introduced.

Link to Bathgate still possible but now significantly longer, via Whitburn.

Armadale

Lower Bathville - Bathgate via Falside area frequency increased to every 15 mins 
Link to Bathgate via A89 reduced to hourly. 
Hourly link to Asda Armadale/Tippethill Hospital/Whitburn provided Monday - Sunday. Service 21 will now serve Armadale Railway station car park.
Direct link to Edinburgh still possible.

Bathgate

Increased, more direct services to Livingston Terminal.

Direct link to Kirkton Campus introduced.

Direct link to Edinburgh still possible.

Links to Stoneyburn, West Calder Loganlea and Addiewell maintained but journeys are significantly longer.

Links to Blackridge maintained.

Birniehill/Whiteside

Frequency of journeys into Bathgate increased to every 30 mins.

Direct link to Edinburgh lost.  Passengers require to change service at Bathgate or Livingston Terminal.

Blackburn

All buses now operate via Elm Grove/Ash Grove

No First services operate along East Main Street between the Cross and Redhouse.  However Blue Bus service 701 continues to operate hourly along this corridor.

Direct link to Kirkton Campus introduced.

Faster, more direct link to Livingston Terminal

Reduced frequency to Bathgate (every 30 Mins)

Direct link to Edinburgh/Edinburgh Airport lost.  Passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal.

No direct service to Stoneyburn, West Calder, Loganlea or Addiewell

Blackridge

Links to Bathgate maintained.

No longer a direct link into St John's hospital grounds.  New service operates via Alderstone Road.

SD Travel commercial service 150 continues to operate Blackridge-Armadale Bathgate via A89.

Broxburn/Uphall

Increased frequency to Edinburgh Off-Peak from upto every 15 mins.

Reduced peak frequency to Edinburgh to every 15 mins.

More journeys to Winchburgh & Edinburgh Airport available.

Link to South Queensferry removed.  Council contracted Service 7 provides these links in morning and evenings but does not offer a complete replacement.

Hourly Link to Bathgate & Armadale via A89 maintained.

Carmondean/Livingston North

Much improved service to Livingston Terminal from 1 to 8 bph (4* service 25 & 4 * service 26).

Direct link to Bathgate only available from Deans North

Craigshill

Better balanced service 15-minute frequency to Livingston Terminal 
Direct link to Edinburgh maintained.  
Direct Service to Winchburgh & South Queensferry removed.  Council contracted Service 7 provides these links in morning and evenings but does not offer a complete replacement.
Craigswood no longer served.
Direct service to Bathgate lost.  This would require a change at Livingston Terminal.
Craigshill to Inveralmond Community High School link maintained with journeys timed specifically to school start and finish times. 

Dechmont/Deer Park

New service 600 now provides links to Livingston Terminal and Broxburn/Edinburgh Airport from Deer Park however removed from Dechmont, Council contracted service 31 provides hourly links between Dechmont & Livingston Terminal.  

Dedridge

Better balanced service 15-minute frequency to Livingston Terminal 
Direct link to Edinburgh maintained via service 23 which will operate via Dedridge east to Lizzie Bryce Roundabout & Mid Calder 
No direct service to Bathgate, West Calder, Stoneyburn, Loganlea & Fauldhouse.  Connections to these areas can be made by changing at Livingston Terminal.
Dedridge West Road will only be served in one direction

East Calder/Wilkieston

Main Street off-peak reduced to every 60 mins

Direct link to Bathgate removed.  To make this journey, passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal.

Reduced Off-peak frequency to Edinburgh to every 60 mins

Eliburn

Improved service to Livingston Terminal from every 15 mins

Direct links to Seafield, Blackburn & Whitburn withdrawn.

Eliburn Road direct link to Edinburgh lost.  Passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal.

Fauldhouse

Faster, more direct link to Bathgate.

Reduced service frequency to both Livingston via Stoneyburn, Longanlea & West Calder.  

Journey to Bathgate reduced to every 30 mins, but is now more direct.

No direct link to Armadale/Asda Armadale/Tippethill Hospital (Council contracted Service 6 still available but does not offer a complete replacement).

Houston Industrial Estate

Grange Road no longer served.

Howden South Road

No longer served - First Services operate via Alderstone Road.

Council Contracted service 31 provides hourly service here.

KirknewtonFrequency Maintained, service number change only.
Knightsridge/Ladywell

Better headway with 15-minute frequency to Livingston Terminal

Direct link to Edinburgh lost.  Passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal or use Fastlink to connect to Edinburgh-bound services

No direct link to Bathgate.  Passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal

New service to Carmondean South introduced.

Livingston Village

No direct link to St John's Hospital (into grounds).  Passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal or alight on Alderstone Road.

Direct Links to Bathgate & Armadale lost.

Direct Link to Whitburn introduced.

Direct link to Edinburgh lost.  Passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal.

LongridgeFrequency of journeys to Bathgate reduced to every 30 mins, but is now more direct.
No direct link to Armadale/Asda Armadale/Tippethill Hospital.  Change now required in Whitburn to make this journey on service 21 or Council contracted Service 6.New direct links to Stoneyburn, Loganlea & West Calder introduced (every 30 mins).
Mid Calder

Reduced Off-peak frequency to Edinburgh from every 30 mins 
Direct link to Edinburgh maintained via service 23 which will operate via Dedridge east to Lizzie Bryce Roundabout & Mid Calder
Direct link to Bathgate removed.  To make this journey, passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal.

PumpherstonFrequency Maintained, service number change only.
St John's Hospital

Less direct links, turning circle not used by 21, 22, 23, 24, & 25.  Connections available to these services on Alderstone Road on 7/8 min frequency.

Stoneyburn/Bents

Faster route to Livingston Terminal (not via Dedridge)

Reduced frequency to Fauldhouse/West Calder (every 30 mins)

No direct link to Blackburn (Service 803 removed)

New direct Link to Whitburn introduced.

Link to Bathgate still possible but journeys is now significantly longer, via Whitburn

West Calder

Balanced 15-minute frequency to Livingston Terminal introduced.

Faster route to Livingston Terminal (not via Dedridge)

Reduced frequency to Fauldhouse (every 30 mins)

No direct link to Blackburn (Service 803 removed)

Link to Bathgate still possible but now significantly longer, via Whitburn.

Whitburn

More journeys to M8J4 industrial estate
East Whitburn link to Bathgate now every 30 mins
Faster, more direct link to Livingston Terminal 
Frequency of journeys to Bathgate reduced to every 30 mins, but is now more direct.
Hourly link to Asda Armadale/Tippethill Hospital/Whitburn provided Monday - Sunday.  Service 21 will now serve Armadale Railway station car park. Direct link to Edinburgh/Edinburgh Airport lost.  Passengers require to change service at Livingston Terminal.
New direct links to Stoneyburn, Loganlea and West Calder introduced (every 30 mins).

Winchburgh

Direct links to South Queenferry removed.  Council contracted Service 7 provides these links in morning and evenings but does not offer a complete replacement.

 

New link to Edinburgh Airport & Kirkliston available.

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