A NEW bus service linking north Edinburgh to the airport is set to launch next month, the News can reveal.
The number 200 will run between Ocean Terminal and Edinburgh Airport through Clermiston and Muirhouse from April 23.
Lothian Buses also said today it was creating jobs for 45 new drivers and a further ten apprentice engineers.
Other service changes on the cards include route extensions to destinations including Fort Kinnaird Retail Park, Edinburgh Park and the Gyle shopping centre.
Richard Hall, managing director of Lothian Buses, said the changes came in response to public feedback.
He said: “We are delighted to be able to expand on our smart, efficient network to provide more vital links for our customers across the city and beyond, while announcing further investment in recruitment and maintaining our current fare structure.
“We are excited to grow our business further and are sure that our customers will benefit greatly from the changes introduced.”
Campaigners in the north of the Capital have previously called for a new airport bus along the A90 corridor, claiming it would reduce “car-dumping” in areas such as Corstorphine and provide a “cheaper alternative” to taxis and airport parking.
Edinburgh Western MP Alex Cole-Hamilton was among those who called for the new route and said it was “great news”.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted that this community campaign has paid off so spectacularly.
“It will reduce our carbon footprint in the north of the city and allow people who live in those communities the opportunity to travel to the airport without having to take a taxi or use expensive airport parking.”
The network upgrade will also include changes to frequency on Saturday and Sunday services, while two buses per hour on the number 3 will be re-routed to serve Dalkeith Campus instead of Mayfield on Mondays to Fridays.
However, Lothian Buses said no areas or stops in Midlothian would be left without a service.
Duncan McBride, chair of Unite’s Lothian Buses branch, said the firm’s growth and success was due to the “hard work and dedication of its staff”.
He added: “To assure future success, the company should make sure that the pay, terms and conditions of any new staff brought in to develop the bus network are no different from those staff who have been the bedrock of its progress over recent years.”