CRAMOND & BARNTON COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Incorporating Cramond, Barnton, Cammo & Quality Street (West)

Chair: Andrew Mather Secretary: Ian Williamson Planning Rep: Peter Scott
21 Inveralmond Drive 17 Cramond Village 86 Cammo Grove
Edinburgh EH4 6JX Edinburgh EH4 6NS Edinburgh EH4 8HD
Phone: 336 2336 Phone: 476 3897 Phone: 339 7839

John Bury Esq,
Head of Planning and Transport,
City of Edinburgh Council,
Waverley Court,
EDINBURGH EH8 8BG

19th August 2016

Dear Mr Bury,

WITHDRAWAL OF HORSBURGH 64 BUS SERVICE; AN OPPORTUNTIY TO REVIEW SERVICES TO NORTH-WEST EDINBURGH

I wrote to you on 22 July as requested by the people of this community in pursuance of a determination to engage with the Council and with Lothian Buses about the requirement for improved bus services to Cramond and Barnton. On the 4th of August, I received a reply from Chris Day about the narrow role of the Council insofar as supported services were concerned, the predominant reliance on services that were commercially viable and the responsibility that was Lothian Buses to review service provision as we had requested.

I recognise why Lothian Buses may be regarded as the lead agency on a request for service review but I am concerned that this risks this issue being considered by the one partner in what we believe is an issue requiring a multiagency approach. The Council is committed to the integration of public transport. The imminent commissioning of the Gateway Rail Station in North West Edinburgh surely requires all of the transport agencies and planners to work together so as to make best use of the resource and encourage greater use of public transport. The station has the added benefit of being adjacent to the start of the Glasgow Road and a route into the City Centre that enjoys a bus lane along much if its length. Under the new structure Place, Planning and Transport would be an area where one would think the overarching responsibility for this transport planning matter would rest.

We recognise that all Council services are being squeezed and that there are likely to be limited and reducing resources available to subsidised bus services. But Mr Day’s letter is silent on the issue of the £5.5 million dividend which Lothian Buses paid to shareholders in 2015. Given that the Council receives 91% of the dividends the Community Council would ask what services reap the benefit of this return for it is clearly not bus services.

Cramond may be likened to living in a large roundabout/cul-de-sac attached by two umbillicals in the form of Cramond Road South and Whitehouse Road to the main arterial route – the Queensferry Road. Traffic routes from the north and north east of the city fuels the flows on to these umbillicals and to this roundabout/cul-de-sac. Add to this the fragility of the Queensferry Road and you have created all the opportunity for gridlock. When I first wrote to you we had just come through a period of episodes where this fragility had been fully exposed. Utilities repairs, road traffic accidents, fires and floods all on the section between the Cramond Brig and Blackhall. Since then we have a significant challenge with the rock fall on to the carriageway. Of all of the Lothian Bus services impacted by the fragility of this road the 41 is one which bears the brunt of these repeated incursions. Some of the options we would wish to see explored include routes avoiding this section of the Queensferry Road.

We remain happy to meet with you and other partners to explore the options.

Yours sincerely,

IAN D WILLIAMSON

Secretary

Copy to:
Councillors Work, Patterson and Shields
Councillor Lesley Hinds
Lothian Buses
Blackhall/Craigleith CC, Drum Brae Cc, Corstorphine CC