THEY say you wait ages for a bus and then three come along at once – but at one city bus stop, you might well be waiting forever.
A brand new bus shelter has been installed on Saughton Road in the west of the city, despite no services using the route.
The baffling move, part of the multi-million-pound roll-out of new shelters by council contractor JCDecaux, has been branded a “complete waste of money” and left community leaders scratching their heads.
A council spokeswoman insisted the bus stop had been installed at no extra cost to the council, but that city chiefs were “in discussion with JCDecaux about the location of this shelter”.
It is understood the facility was installed to replace a disused shelter dating back to when buses regularly went down the road.
JCDecaux liaised with the council before replacing the old shelter and was told the bus route was no longer used – but still went ahead with construction.
The advertising giant, which has a contract with the council to install new shelters, declined to comment.
Last year, the Evening News revealed one in 20 of the Capital’s new bus stops need to have their seats replaced because they are too high.
City chiefs said around 20 of the 400 shelters being rolled out needed to be “retro-fitted” with new seating after being installed at the wrong height by JCDecaux. Complaints have also been made over shelters installed in the wrong positions – with pedestrian pressure group Living Streets Edinburgh previously branding the rollout “clearly flawed”.
Lothian Conservative MSP Cameron Buchanan said the latest bungle followed a long line of mistakes.
He said: “Who are the clowns who are putting up these shelters? It’s just a complete waste of money. Somebody must have given the instruction as to where these are going.”
One bemused resident added: “Perhaps the planners are considering how they could provide an integrated transport system and run a bus service from the Saughton tram stop along Saughton Road and into Longstone, serving the large catchment area in Parkhead and Longstone. Then again, perhaps not!”
A spokeswoman for Lothian Buses confirmed no services go down Saughton Road.
But she insisted the city’s bus stops were managed by the council, which also has responsibility for erecting new shelters.
Betty Milton, chairwoman of Sighthill/Broomhouse and Parkhead community council, said: “What we’ve got to find out is how much it cost to take the old shelter down and put the new one up. And how many more is there [not being used] that we don’t know about?”
A council spokeswoman said: “JCDecaux have installed this bus shelter at no cost to the council, replacing an existing advertising shelter which had been in place for some time, as part of a contract. We are currently in discussion with JCDecaux about the location of this shelter.”