New bus link for East Lothian

Bus driver  Stevie Sives helps launch the new services. Picture: Rob McDougall

Bus driver Stevie Sives helps launch the new services. Picture: Rob McDougall

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A NEW day ticket is being introduced allowing passengers to travel across East Lothian and Edinburgh.

The £9 pass will offer unlimited access to buses, trams and the Airlink service.

East Coast Buses – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lothian Buses – yesterday announced timetable and fare information for the first time.

It was created as part of a rescue package last month after bus services in East Lothian were threatened with closure by previous operator First Scotland East.

The firm will take over the area’s services on Sunday, August 14, promising new routes and extra investment.

Along with single fares, the company is offering three Dayticket options for travellers – including the Network Day Ticket, which will allow East Coast Buses passengers access to all Lothian Buses day services, Airlink and Edinburgh Trams for £9 a day.

Meanwhile, the county Day Ticket provides passengers with unlimited travel outside of Edinburgh for £5, while the countyPLUS Day Ticket will allow unlimited access across all East Coast Buses services in all zones for £7.50.

Bosses said the fleet of 34 buses were “newly liveried and refurbished” to provide a “high quality, reliable and comfortable service”.

Richard Hall, managing director of Lothian Buses, said: “These new routes will ensure that residents, workers and businesses across East Lothian will continue to enjoy reliable transport links that support their daily travel needs.

“We are looking forward to welcoming members of local communities aboard on the launch date and to becoming an important part of the local economy, as well as attracting new customers to the network across East Lothian and into Edinburgh.”

Special events to showcase the new vehicles will take place on August 6 in Haddington and Dunbar and August 13 in North Berwick, with passengers also given the opportunity to pick up a free day ticket.

Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian, said: “I am very pleased to welcome East Coast Buses’ new services to East Lothian.

“Their initiative has secured bus services vital to many of our towns and villages, but also saved dozens of jobs and the depots in Musselburgh and North Berwick.

“The last time Lothian Buses stepped in when another operator walked away from the county they introduced the 113 service which has just been voted best in Scotland, so I think my constituents have every reason to look forward to enjoying a reliable, responsive, high-quality service from East Coast Buses.”

Councillor Michael Veitch, East Lothian Council’s transport leader, hailed the new services as a “hugely significant boost to public transport in the county”.

She added: “I’m sure that local bus users will be as excited as I am about it.”

alistair.grant@jpress.co.uk