29 September
WLC Logo Placeholder image

This follows the news earlier this week that McGills are ceasing all operations in West Lothian from 2 December. West Lothian Council has previously called upon the Scottish Government to reinstate the COVID recovery support for buses.

The vast majority of bus services in West Lothian are wholly commercial and the council has no authority over the commercial market or operations. 

Humza Yousaf, Scotland's First Minister, has given the Leader of West Lothian Council assurances that the Transport Minister and Transport Scotland representatives will meet council representatives at the earliest opportunity to discuss what can be done to help. 

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: 

"The council has no authority over the commercial market or operations so powers and legislation handed down by the Government is one thing, but they aren't realistic without the resources to go with them.

"The only solution is funding from the Scottish Government to support local bus services and that is a message that has come across loud and clear form the bus operators themselves.

"I am very pleased that the First Minister has agreed to my request and we will meet Transport Scotland and the Transport Minister as soon as possible to discuss a solution to this untenable and frightening situation for bus users."

"The council has maintained funding for a number of subsidised bus services, particularly where villages have no alternative bus service, despite a predicted £39 million budget gap over the next five years.

"What is clear to everyone is that councils don't have the resources to meet current levels of service delivery, so we cannot find funding to solve the bus crisis.

"The scale of the budget reductions facing the council mean that the council can't continue to deliver existing services as they are currently provided. The idea that the council can step in to fund new services is completely unrealistic and unachievable given the funding position we are in. It is our hope that the Scottish Government can act now to help the bus crisis in West Lothian."