Commuters split on rising cost of Lothian bus fares

Adult fares on Lothian buses are set to increase
Adult fares on Lothian buses are set to increase
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BUS fares are set to rise in the Capital for the first time in two years after Lothian announced improvements following a review.

Single adult tickets on Lothian services will increase by 10p to £1.70 per journey. Adult and student Ridacards, which were last increased in 2015 will also see an increase.

The decision to increase some fares has split opinion as commuters took to social media to have their say in a heated debate.

Some passengers believe the decision to increase fares was not in line with wages.

Posting on Facebook, Jenny Gilchrist said: “Oh no not again. Along with rail fare increases it is now really expensive to travel to work.

“Some people don’t get pay increases to help absorb costs.”

Charlotte Goldsmith added: “That’s an extra £100 a year for some people.

“I don’t begrudge paying it but surely if our wages are not going up, it’s going to be a struggle for some.”

But some passengers were quick to defend the decision, believing Lothian’s service was one of the best on offer.

Gordon Tait said: “Still by far the best and cheapest bus service in the UK.”

Mark Geddes added: “A world leading bus service. I’ve been around the globe and our Lothian buses provide a fantastic service for the price. They can improve and this announcement proves this.

“So many bus operators around the UK providing a more expensive and sub-standard service compared to Lothian buses.”

Lothian will introduce a number of changes following external feedback from customers, community councils and other stakeholders.

Additional express buses are to be introduced on the X31, X33 and X37 services. Changes to service 18 will see later evening journeys and more capacity at peak times and the service 3 will be re-routed along Melville Road, avoiding traffic congestion on the A7 to reduce journey times. Some will be replaced, however, including services 39 and 40 swapped with EastCoastBuses 139 and 140, while service 21 will now run with double-deckers. As part of the changes, Lothian’s Nightbus network will operate seven days a week.

Nigel Serafini, commercial director at Lothian, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer further improvements to our network of services, building on the success of changes we made in 2017.

“With our operating costs continuing to rise due to a combination of ongoing congestion, increased staffing levels, wage inflation and our increased investment in people training and development, we will be making some changes to fares from the same date. We are also continuing to re-invest in low emission buses for the benefit of all our customers and our capital city, lessening the impact on the environment while continuing to develop and provide a comprehensive network of services.”

The changes will take place from February 25.