A substantial part of the last meeting was taken up by discussions regarding the new Local Bus Forum and the way that RELBUS could influence it. Cllr Michael Veitch (Transport Convenor) explained that he had support from operators and officers and optimistic that it was a positive first step in the right direction.
Cllr Veitch also gave an update on progress with the Local Transport Strategy, which should build on the conclusions and recommendations following the Bus Conference earlier in the year, before the Council elections. RELBUS welcomed that the Council’s 5 year plan already cited the draft strategy, though already some of the immediate actions are disconnected from the longer term aims, which also cropped up in discussions later regarding new housing development at Blindwells.
We went on to discuss a number of current bus issues, which covered matters such as poor stop information (timetables obscured and missing or out of date seem to be a continuing issue); inadequate service provision (e.g. Western General and services to Longniddry and beyond), fairer fares, and better connections to tourist attractions.
We then discussed a draft vision document, which had been circulated earlier to members. The document, which has the working title ‘Focus on Bus Passengers’, is a passenger-centric view of how operators and the Council should re-orientate services. It was agreed that it should form the basis for a wider consultation to members on the future for bus services.
The meeting closed after discussion of whether RELBUS should continue in its efforts to raise finance, either through Community Councils, the Local Authority and / or from members themselves.
The latest minute is published here.