One in six bus stops to be taken out in trial scheme to cut journey times in Edinburgh

No 44 service will serve as pilot for other routes

ONE in six bus stops on a busy cross-city route are to be taken out of service in a trial scheme to speed up journey times.

A total of 26 bus stops will be removed on Lothian Buses’ No 44 service between Balerno and Wallyford during the pilot.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And if it is judged a success, transport bosses are expected to cut the number of bus stops on other routes throughout the area.

A total of 26 stops will be removed along the 44 route

The move comes after bus operators told the city council a review of bus stop spacing was needed to improve the reliability of services.

The latest street design guidance in Edinburgh says bus stops should be placed about every 400m along a route, although closer spacing may be appropriate in town centres or to meet special needs, such as sheltered housing complexes.

But a report to the transport and environment committee, which meets on Thursday, says for a variety of reasons, many bus stops in the Capital are closer together, with about 20 per cent less than 200m apart, leading to slower journey times and congestion.

Transport and environment convener Lesley Macinnes said: “We want to make travel by public transport even more reliable and stress-free, which is why we’re proposing this trial, in partnership with Lothian.

“If we are to achieve a carbon-neutral future for Edinburgh, where air quality is improved and the public can easily make healthy, active travel choices we need to encourage more people to take the bus as an efficient mode of transport.”

The council says the selection of stops to be taken out of service should still mean no-one has to walk more than 400m to catch a bus.

The affected bus stops will be “bagged over” rather than physically removed during the trial.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But if a reduction in stops is eventually agreed for other routes, it could involve relocation of stops as well as removals.

Cllr Macinnes said: “Of course, we know how important it is for residents to have access to their local bus stop, especially for those with mobility issues. That’s why we’ve worked closely with Lothian to develop a methodology for bus stop spacing which ensures everyone can catch the bus near their home, doctors, school or shops.”

Alan Black, Lothian Buses’ head of service delivery said: “Lothian is committed to delivering reliable, sustainable, best value bus travel for customers. We look forward to working with the city council on the bus stop review which will enhance bus journey times and improve overall reliability across the city.”