On Friday, 30 December, given the weather warnings, I thought I had better check my bus before leaving the shop and was glad I had as my X28 bus was staying on the A71 and not stopping at Kirknewton because of flooding.
The only option was to get to nearby Wilkieston and order a taxi from there. I closed up slightly early to catch the next bus but once at the Waverley bus stop there were no times showing on my phone.
A gentlemen standing next to me said he was waiting on an X38, having walked from Shandwick Place 90 minutes earlier after being unable to get on the bus because it was full. His app mentioned missing out the West End stop but at least was showing a bus for Waverley.
I decided to walk down to the West End stop after having previous experience of my bus being diverted around Waverley but had no sooner passed Waverley Bridge when I saw that the council had closed Princes Street so they could install food stalls and bars and start to build the barriers making sure only those with a ticket enjoyed the street party.
I returned to tell the passengers waiting at my bus stop what was happening and at least those waiting for an X38 were relieved to see a bus arrive. It left completely laden and I doubt any passengers further down the route got on.
I had asked my youngest daughter to search for any further news and as the X38 drove off she called to say that the X27 and X28 which would get me to Wilkieston were not taking the detour to the terminus but instead were ending their journey at The Exchange.
At least my journey was now clear. I would have to walk to The Exchange, get a bus to Wilkieston and then a taxi home. Not ideal! I should say a train strike had ruled out that option and of course had swelled the numbers trying to catch a bus.
The following day was more straightforward but still meant a walk to Waverley from the Usher Hall dodging all the council’s obstacles and I certainly felt sorry for the shops that had chosen to open given the mess outside their doors.
For me this was certainly an inconvenience but at least I am experienced in dealing with the vagaries of the bus services but imagine the confusion this scenario presented to those who rarely use the buses and those arriving in Edinburgh trying to get to their accommodation.
What is unforgivable is the complete lack of signage beyond the obligatory road closure signs. For visitors arriving their first experience is delay and confusion with only scant information online to help them out.
Edinburgh Council of course has previous when it comes to closing roads with little to no explanation with their Open Streets campaign being a good example of their failure to describe what is going on while Lothian Country fail to comprehensively update the public on almost a daily basis so together they are a lethal combination.
The result is unhappy visitors and locals deterred from using buses and going back to their cars surely something the council in particular should be unhappy with.