Edinburgh Eastern MSP, Ash Denham, has written to Lothian Buses asking the company to reconsider changes to the number 15 bus service which are set to take effect from Monday 14 July 2019.
The Service 15/X15 route from the City Centre to Lochend is due to be withdrawn due to “low customer usage” and the Saturday service will also be withdrawn.
However, several of Ms. Denham’s constituents have contacted her office complaining the changes to the number 15 service, which travels between Lochend and Penicuik, would force elderly bus users to walk a longer distance to access an alternative bus route to take them into the city centre.
Ms Denham said:”A number of constituents in my Edinburgh Eastern constituency have contacted me to express their anger that the number 15 service bus they rely on to travel into the city centre is due to be withdrawn.
“Many constituents who use this service are elderly and may have disabilities which prevent them from walking a longer distance to reach the next bus stop to take them into town. Walking a longer distance will also be particularly difficult in bad weather or in the winter months.
“I have now personally written to the Managing Director of Lothian Buses, Richard Hall, asking for the company to look again at this route and for the service from Lochend to the city centre to be reinstated when this new timetable takes effect from July 14th.”
Constituent, Fraser Renton (pictured on the right in the photo above), 78, said:”This service is essential for older people like myself in what is a heavily populated area to get up into the town and access the train station.
“It saves people walking all the way along to Restalrig Road or down to Sleigh Drive, which can be a considerable walk for a lot of elderly people in the area – and would be even more challenging in the winter.”I believe the number 15 service is a popular one and if they’re taking it away it’s in the interests of profit and not of the local people from this area who rely on it.
“I and others made this point to Ash, our local MSP, and we’re really pleased she has taken this up and contacted Lothian Buses. At the very least we’re looking for some form of compromise where perhaps the bus could be changed to a single-decker or as a last resort could be made an hourly service.”