Edinburgh buses: Petition to reinstate ‘iconic’ 22 bus service generates more than one thousand signatures

More than one thousand people in Edinburgh have signed a petition to bring back an ‘iconic’ bus service after it was scrapped last month without consultation.

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

The northern part of the 22 bus route, which travelled from Waterloo Place to Ocean Terminal, was withdrawn from the service on June 5 despite a promise to continue the route until trams became operational.

Bus users who said they relied on the service have supported the petition and shared their views online with some describing the route as a “lifeline”.

The northern part of the 22 service was discontinued in June.

The petition, launched by the Leith Links community council (LLCC), set out to gain five hundred names but has now amassed more than a thousand signatures, with plans to submit the accumulation of comments to Lothian Buses and the council’s transport convener.

One person who signed the petition said: “To remove a vital service with zero consultation from the most populous part of town which is already besieged by traffic nightmares is short-sighted at best, to do so a year before the trams are running is either stupid or duplicitous. Bring our 22 back.”

Another added: “The 22 was integral to Leith and the people. This is sometimes the only method to get where we need to go. Other buses don’t serve as regularly or efficiently. Disappointed.”

LLCC Secretary, Sally Millar, said: “It’s well known to be a busy bus because it’s the only bus that actually goes in a single line journey from Leith to the west of the city.

“If you have to change buses then you have to pay twice and you have to walk between bus stops – which is sometimes quite a long way these days.

“It’s iconic. Everybody knows the 22, everybody knows that's the bus they need.”

She added: “People in Leith are absolutely sick and tired of the extremely poor options available to them in terms of bus transport. It seems to be getting worse, not better.”

Others who signed the petition also stated that fewer bus stops in Edinburgh is becoming an increasing problem for those who are vulnerable or less mobile.

One individual said: “Bus stop closures mean people with mobility issues are faced with impossible walks between stops.”

Another said: “I am disabled and cannot drive, so I rely on buses. The spacing out of bus stops in particular is making my life very difficult.”

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The LLCC secretary explained that Lothian Buses had made a promise in 2019 that the northern part of the 22 service would remain in operation until the tram works were completed.

Ms Millar said: “The route of the 22 will be replicated by the tram more or less, so I think everybody could sort of see that there might be a case for reviewing the 22 when the tram is running. But of course, it isn't.”

The petition is supported by local organisations SOSLeith and the Edinburgh Bus Users Group.

Lothian Buses advised the decision to discontinue the service was taken after data suggested the 22 route was one of the least recovered services on the network.

A spokesperson said: “In order to improve service provision in other areas of the city, where customer demand is stronger, we had to make tough decisions and re-allocate our limited driving resource" adding “no area left without a bus service.”