Cuts to Edinburgh bus services 'inevitable' due to impact of coronavirus, say Lothian chiefs

Lothian bus bosses have said that cuts to services in Edinburgh will be ‘inevitable’ – but critical links to hospitals will be maintained where possible.

Lothian bus bosses say cuts are inevitable due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Lothian bus bosses say cuts are inevitable due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Interim managing director, Nigel Serafini, said the company is working with the Scottish Government, local authorities and other stakeholders to “keep the majority” of their services running in an update published online today.

He also advised passengers to keep an eye on their mobile app, website and social media channels for updates and follow the guidelines set by The Scottish Government and NHS.

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The statement described the current circumstances as “extraordinary” and said the company is putting plans in place to deal with the fast-changing situation.

He added: “While the priority of maintaining public services is of paramount importance, as the situation develops, we need to factor in the impact on staffing levels now being experienced.

“Lothian has been part of the fabric of Edinburgh providing vital transport links for over 100 years and I would like to pay tribute to staff from across our business, who go above and beyond every day to deliver a service to the people of Edinburgh and the Lothians.

“We are determined to carry out our duty of public service to our customers. However, as you will all appreciate we are currently living through unprecedented times, and we would ask you all to bear with us and check our website and social media platforms for the latest service information.

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“Some reduction in service provision is inevitable however we are working with the Scottish Government, local authorities and stakeholders to keep the majority of our services running. Any decisions we take will be made with the best interests of all of our staff and our customers at heart, prioritising critical links to hospitals where possible.”

Mr Serafini also paid thanks, on behalf of the Lothian group, to the emergency services, particularly those working in the NHS for their “incredible effort under extreme pressure in such testing times.”