Bus cuts – campaigning for a better service

What no bus?
What no bus?

In the light of recent announcements we thought it would be a good idea to set out some of the steps we can all take to ensure the politicians and operators respond appropriately. We are encouraging all RELBUS members to make personal representations to elected members, your local councillors and community councillors. Get support from your MSP to urge Government to step in and support the transition to a new provider, but also to look again at the regulations. Don’t know who to write to? Try this link to find contact details of your representatives.

Here are some points you can make in your letters, emails and attendance to surgeries.

  • The views of bus users are central to constructing a better service, so ask them how they propose to take bus users views into account.
  • It is inevitable that urgency pushes decision makers to replicate the existing setup – perhaps like for like or close to it. However the status quo is inadequate. It can only be a starting point not the end point.
  • There need to be better connections with rail services. One study in Dunbar showed that no passengers used the bus to get to the train station.
  • There need to be better connections between communities and services to ‘destinations’.
  • We need better quality and more reliable commuter services. These are clearly very important, but too often oversubscribed at peak times and over-provided when the demand is lower.
  • Improve the bus fleet. Smaller buses are better suited to small rural towns and connecting services. Greener buses are going to be less noisy and less polluting.
  • A not for profit company should be set up to run the services. The company should seek to provide a comprehensive public service.
  • Profits should be used to help keep the fleet clean and green, lower fares and rationalise them, devote sufficient resources to marketing and publicity and aim to increase patronage of the buses by residents, business, visitors and tourists.

Please take a few minutes to write or speak to your representatives about this important public service. If you get any response, it would be a great help to us if you could share it with info@relbus.org.uk

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Better rural buses, better rural transport options

One thought on “Bus cuts – campaigning for a better service”

  1. I just got a flyer through the door telling me that due to SNP action ‘local buses are secured’. Of course it’s timed just days before East Lothian elections decide who’s going to run the local council. It does neglect to mention that the mess with the buses happened under the SNP’s watch. Let’s hope, if they return to power, and there’s every possibility that this may be the case, they do something about the shocking service and back up rhetoric with real and meaningful action. More of the same really will not do.

    Equally, if power changes hands, lets hope that we do not see a new administration repeating the short-termist errors of the last few years. Buses are not a luxury but a necessity. Yet running one service to fit all scenarios has clearly failed. People have voted with their feet and walked away from an increasingly erratic and expensive service creating a downward spiral that, not surprisingly, culminated in today’s woeful state of affairs. We really really need fresh approaches and whatever the SNP has come up with to replace First must be seen as an interim stop-gap until a better, holistic, approach to public transport is implemented for rural East Lothian.

    For anyone following the comments on this story, this is a quick reminder that if you can’t attend tomorrow’s joint Pencaitland/Ormiston 7.30pm meeting in Trevelyan Hall, Pencaitland, you can leave a comment we will pass on to the local MP, MSP and EL Council by visiting


    Pencaitland Community Council

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