Passengers face uphill struggle as bus stop is scrapped

BUS users have come out in force against a decision to remove a stop which has left pensioners facing an uphill struggle.

The shelter in Drum Brae Drive was removed by the council last month without any consultation with the local community.

Residents say they now have to walk 200 yards up a steep hill to reach the next stop.

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Retired lighting technician Jim Taylor, 67, who lives in nearby Rannoch Road, has used it for more than two decades to travel to Granton to go fishing.

He said: “I’ve lived here for about 22 years and the bus stop has been there all that time.

“The nearest stop is about half the way up the top end of Drum Brae Drive, which is not handy at all.

“I’m still able to get around just now but I’m not getting any younger and for somebody who’s older, they will be toiling, especially if they’re carrying messages.”

More than 60 people attended the Drum Brae Community Council meeting this week to express their anger at the move.

They hope to meet with the city council in the next few weeks to urge it to reinstate the bus stop.

Community council treasurer Olive Durie, who lives in Clermiston, said: “It’s ridiculous. I’m 73 and I have rheumatoid arthritis. The next stop is about 150 to 200 yards up a steep hill.”

The community council’s secretary, Jim Bain, who lives in East Craigs, added: “There was well in excess of 60 people – we normally have about 30 at our monthly meetings.

“The bus stop that has been removed would have been opposite the new library, which will open at the end of January, and the council has offices opening there too, so it would have been an ideal drop-off place for people going to the library or council offices.

“The bus stop didn’t just serve Drum Brae Drive, but Parkgrove as well, and there’s a really strong sense of feeling about it being removed. A lot of the residents are getting on a bit now, probably myself included. Not to consult us about it was really not on.

“The community council is going to try to organise a public meeting in the next couple of weeks with representatives from the city council and Lothian Buses to discuss what the possible options are.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “As a result of the construction of the new pedestrian crossing and the new neighbourhood office on Drum Brae Drive, there was a need to reposition bus stop locations.

“However, we are happy to review the situation to see if a revised arrangement can be achieved which better meets the needs of the community.”

Bill Campbell, operations director at Lothian Buses, added: “Lothian Buses is working with Edinburgh City Council to see if an arrangement can be achieved that better meets the needs of the local community.”