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

Chair: Andrew Mather Secretary: Ian Williamson
21 Inveralmond Drive 17 Cramond Village
Edinburgh EH4 6JX Edinburgh EH4 6NS
Phone: 336 2336 Phone: 476 3897

Mr Nigel Serafini
Acting Managing Director
Lothian Buses
Edinburgh EH7 4AZ

Dear Mr Serafini,

Withdrawal of Sunday Service 41 During COVID 10 Lockdown

We live and function in extraordinary times and recognise the challenges which Lothian Buses are facing in trying to maintain services on routes especially where demand has in some cases and at some times all but evaporated. Cramond and much of Barnton are however entirely dependent for public transport on the service 41 which the company has chosen to withdraw on Sundays with no consultation nor communication (other than the uploading of notification to your own website). No posting of notices in bus stops. Not even adjusted timetables.

Your website lists a total of nine Lothian Bus routes as subject to what was described as more than minor service changes effective from 17 May; of these, the only route singled out for complete withdrawal of service on any day was the 41. Even in extremist, we have difficulty in believing that a public service operator can summarily withdraw a service with no consultation or engagement with the community or with the local Council especially where that act leaves the community with no service whatsoever.

However, we are where we are and these measures were introduced some weeks ago now while we were still in full lockdown. Now that we have moved into the timetable of the phased lifting of some of the restrictions what can you tell us of your plans for moving to service timetables more reflective of the need to respond to the demand for service that will begin to develop? The cafes in Cramond are now preparing to open albeit with a more limited outdoor service. The small galleries with appropriate distancing measures are also preparing to open. And in time the churches in Cramond and elsewhere on the route will open.

How will you determine when the time is right to re-instate the 41 Sunday service. What will be the key influencers? In this regard, we should draw to your attention that the City of Edinburgh Council’s decision to continue to have the public car park on the Cramond foreshore closed along with Cramond Glebe Road itself may serve as a disincentive to some who may otherwise have driven to Cramond.

If it may be of some help then I can advise you that both this Community Council (and those other Community Councils (and the Davidsons Mains and Silverknowes Association) along with the Ward Councillors stand ready to assist in circulating notices of resumption of service in advance so that would-be passengers may be informed. I am sure that none of us would wish the re-instated service to be underutilised for want of timely communication.

A copy of this letter goes to Lesley McInnes, Convenor of the Transport and Environment Committee, along with a request to her for clarification as to whether at any time in the lead up to the withdrawal of the Service 41 on Sundays she or the Committee received any approach from Lothian Buses about this action. Clarification on the legality of this action, notwithstanding the background against which it was taken, would also be appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Ian D Williamson

Copy to:

Ward Councillors, Chair DMSA, Chair Blackhall and Craigleith CC