Measures agreed for ERI bus link

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TRANSPORT chiefs have agreed to ensure the new number 18 bus service between the Gyle and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary will benefit from a series of planned new measures, including being part of the Bustracker network.

As the Evening News reported yesterday, the route is being redrawn and expanded to ensure staff and patients travelling to the city’s flagship hospital are adequately served.

Lothian Buses and First Group – which split the contract between them – have agreed to give it up ahead of the 2016 expiry date and allow the service to be re-tendered.

The city’s transport committee yesterday heard from local councillors who reported a series of faults in the service.

Elaine Aitken, councillor for Colinton/Fairmilehead, told the committee: “It’s a very infrequent service, not the most reliable, and it’s not on Bustracker.

“There is also a problem with some of the First buses not being low floored and it’s a problem for people going to the hospital.”

The committee agreed that any new firm bidding for the contract would have to address those problems.

Extending the route from the Gyle to Fort Kinnaird via the Royal Infirmary would benefit staff and patients, the committee heard, and is also being considered.