Minister hails saved routes

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Transport Minister Keith Brown has welcomed the news that Lothian Buses has agreed to pick up services axed by rival firm First.

The council-owned bus company has signed a three-year deal to rescue villagers in East and Midlothian who feared being marooned without a public transport network.

Speaking after meeting with the local authorities and Lothian Buses yesterday, Mr Brown said: “I am very pleased that a solution has been found to ensure the future of bus services for these rural communities.

“After my initial meetings with both councils and Lothian Buses, I was able to make Transport Scotland officials available to work with them on a way forward.

“Talks had been very positive from the beginning and we were all keen to resolve the matter.

“It is extremely good news for everyone involved that this was done so quickly and to such a satisfactory outcome.”