'The best service in Britain without a doubt' - readers react to Edinburgh's new monster bus fleet

The buses can accommodate 131 passengers. Picture: Alexander Dennis
The buses can accommodate 131 passengers. Picture: Alexander Dennis
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Evening News readers have given a mixed reaction to the news that Edinburgh will be getting a fleet of 'monster' sized buses in January.

Lothian's fleet of 42 Falkirk-built vehicles will be the largest in the UK with double deckers which can hold up to 131 passengers, including those standing.

The new 45ft-long buses will also see travellers alighting through middle doors for the first time in a decade to speed up services.

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The routes for the buses are yet to be decided.

Daniel Fox said: "Fantastic service as always from Lothian buses, they never get the credit they deserve!"

Marlene St John Ayre said: "Great. Just hope it's not too difficult for the drivers to manage all those passengers."

Others were more pessimistic, with one reader called Ggary Jjames stating: "Expecting another fare increase by Lothian Buses in 3...2...1."

Rod Moore said: "Too big for some of the roads or too big to get between parked cars and trucks etc."

But Bruce Hewitt said: "LRT (Lothian Regional Transport) have the best bus service in Britain without a doubt...should be proud of our bus service not slagging it off..try living outside Edinburgh or anywhere else.and I bet you will never get a bus service as good as LRT...well done LRT."

Others also said that they'd hoped more space for wheelchair users, after Conservative councillors criticised the lack of more than one wheelchair or buggy space on the new models.

And Stace Fairhurst said: "I’d rather see a more regular bus service to the villages outside of the City Bypass before spending money on fancy buses."

But Abigail Bannister added: "Perhaps these new buses will free up older buses from the inner city for more rural use."

Several others suggested that some people might choose to take advantage of the reintroduction of middle doors to dodge fares, by sneaking on when others are getting off.

Ian Buchanan said: "Going back to 2 doors so people can skip their fare (again)."

However, Lothian managing director Richard Hall said there is more CCTV available and that they have inspectors, meaning the revenue risk will be "minimal."

The Enviro400XLB vehicles comprise a Alexander Dennis bodywork on top of a Volvo engines and chassis.

Their diesel Euro 6 engines will comply with the low emission zone which is due to be launched in Edinburgh by 2022.