New Lothian Country bus service for South Queensferry

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Residents in South Queensferry will not be left without a vital link to Edinburgh after Lothian Buses confirmed it would be stepping in from June 4.

The new bus company Lothian Country will be a “stand alone business” owned by Lothian Buses and will have its own buses and products.

City of Edinburgh Council is a majority stakeholder in Lothian Buses.

The move comes after Stagecoach announced its decision to withdraw its No 40 service in March because it was not “financially viable”.

Further details and information on routes and fares are expected to be released next week by Lothian Country.

A statement from the operator’s website said: “We are proud to announce to the people of Queensferry that from June 4, 2017 a brand new bus company called Lothian Country will be commencing the operation of services from South Queensferry to Edinburgh following the withdrawal of services by Stagecoach.

“Historically two major transport providers First and Stagecoach have been unable to operate commercially viable services within this area with low patronage and increasing levels of traffic congestion contributing to their withdrawal.

“The successful continuation of bus services is wholly dependent on customer usage levels – it’s important that the community embrace our new venture to ensure its ongoing success.”

Council chiefs have been in talks with the operator over taking up the route but passengers in the South Queensferry area were worried by the uncertainty.

On their website, Lothian Country added: “We have been working hard behind the scenes over the last few weeks gathering customer and journey time data, and working in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council on the delivery of bus priority measures to ensure our ability to run reliable services which optimise journey times and deliver a positive customer experience.

“There is, however, an ongoing need to look long term and strategically at traffic flows into the city.”