16 October
Lothian buses

Bus users will be able to use the new 72 service between Kirkliston and Livingston via Winchburgh, Broxburn, Uphall, as well as additional peak time journeys on the X27 Bathgate to Edinburgh via Calderwood service.

Both services are operated by Lothian Country following competitive tendering process, using ring-fenced contributions received from housing developers, Winchburgh Development Limited and Stirling Developments Limited for Calderwood.

Executive councillor for the environment and sustainability Tom Conn said: "We are delighted to work with Lothian Country to help improve bus services for two of West Lothian's fastest growing areas in Winchburgh and Calderwood.

"The recent changes announced to the commercial bus network in West Lothian will have a huge impact for many local residents. Unfortunately, the council does not have the resources to fill all the gaps in the commercial bus network, which accounts for the vast majority of bus services.

"This is a great example of making best use of the funding streams we have available, such as developer contributions, to improve service for our communities.

"Subsidised funding for both services is time-limited to help establish the services, so we would encourage local residents to make good use of them so they can become commercially viable in the future."

Willie Hamilton, Operations Director for Lothian, said: "We are delighted to be working with West Lothian Council to provide vital new transport links for the local community, including the new development within Winchburgh.

"We look forward to growing our network and hope that customers will embrace these new links to help ensure their future viability."

The new Lothian Country-operated 72 will provide hourly links from 6am until 10pm, seven days per week, operating between Kirkliston and Livingston via Winchburgh, Broxburn, Uphall.

The funding for the service has been provided by developer contributions from Winchburgh Developments Limited, as part of the Public Transport Strategy for the growing community.

John Hamilton, Winchburgh developments chief executive said: "We're pleased that WDL's public transport contributions have quickly been put to use to minimise the impact on Winchburgh of quite extensive service cuts in the County.  We'll continue to work with the Council and service providers to do all we can to improve public transport as the Winchburgh community continues to grow."

Lothian Country will deliver additional peak time journeys on their X27 Bathgate to Edinburgh via Calderwood service after data showed that demand for morning peak time journeys from rose by 70% between June 2022 and June 2023.

Stirling Developments Limited are providing funding for this as part of their developer contributions outline in the Public Transport Strategy.

Ray Kirk, Stirling Developments director of projects said: "Sustainable transportation is key to the success of any development. As lead developer of Calderwood, we have a strong relationship with Lothian Buses and West Lothian Council to deliver a quality bus service to encourage residents to move away from short journeys in private cars. With more frequent journeys via the X27 Service, Calderwood will enjoy a 'city centre' level bus frequency to west Edinburgh in the peak hours which is what we should all strive to deliver for sustainable new housing."

The council has maintained funding for public transport to support public transport, despite facing a £39 million budget gap over the next five years.

More information on the bus routes subsidised by the council is available at https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/34282/Local-Bus-Services-Information