Edinburgh councillor blasts ‘lunacy’ of Lothian bus attacks in plea to parents as Clermiston evening services suspended

An Edinburgh councillor has blasted the “lunacy” of those responsible for an attack which caused the suspension of evening services in Clermiston this weekend, highlighting that it has also affected transport for local key workers.

Sunday, 7th March 2021, 5:22 pm

Lothian Buses pulled all services from operating in the area after 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday nights. A Tweet published this afternoon from the bus operator said normal service will resume on Monday.

It follows an incident on Friday night in which a bus driver was assaulted in the Clermiston area.

Local councillor Mark Brown said: “I understand the alleged incident is where a missile has been thrown at a bus and it’s obviously had quite a bit of an impact.

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Lothian Buses suspended services after 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday nights.

“Lothian Buses is a substantial employer in the city and they have a duty of care to look after their employees. I imagine for a bus driver, with fewer passengers on board, they are far more isolated. Anyone with half a brain would realise the impact of this sort of behaviour, throwing missiles at buses. It puts not only the driver at risk but passengers on the bus are at risk as well.

“These acts of absolute lunacy must cease right away, and I would strongly encourage parents to have a look and understand where their children are at night, especially when the ‘stay at home’ message is clear.

“It’s someone’s parent or partner who is trying to do a job and I know some in the area are key workers who are also impacted by it.

“What we don’t want is to have any buses off the streets full stop, and we certainly don’t want people feeling unsafe in their own communities. The wider impact has been felt and I would imagine there is only so much a community will take of that kind of behaviour.”

Mr Brown also urged any local residents with CCTV to have a look and contact police with any relevant footage or information.

The buses affected by the evening service suspension include the 1, 21, 26 and 200.

On Tuesday night, a Lothian bus driver was also injured in the Niddrie area when the front window was smashed by an object, resulting in shards of glass covering him. A 15-year-old boy has since been charged in connection with the incident.

In late February, three children were charged with antisocial behaviour and public damages offences in the southwest of the city, after police stepped up patrols on public transport. Those involved were alleged to have smashed a bus window and thrown poo at a staff member.

Operation Proust has been set up following an increase in antisocial behaviour on and around buses in Edinburgh, with a number of buses being damaged. The joint operation between Police Scotland and Lothian Buses aims to educate young people, identify those responsible for the vandalism and to keep staff and passengers safe by tackling disorder and antisocial behaviour.

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