Newton villagers left stranded as bus is withdrawn

Empty stances like this one could be more common after the removal of the 23 service (Bathgate to South Queensferry)
Empty stances like this one could be more common after the removal of the 23 service (Bathgate to South Queensferry)

Bus passengers in Newton have been left feeling stranded as their only service has been withdrawn.

West Lothian Council has the tough task of trimming £20 million from its budget over the next two years and planned to save £1.5 million on bus services.

One service that has been withdrawn is the 23, the only route to go through the village.

A council spokesman said: “The 23 service has been replaced with the 31 which does not go to Newton.

“However, the Taxibus services currently in operation in Newton have not been changed. The village continues to benefit from two morning-only Taxibus journeys to South Queensferry and a two hourly Taxibus service to Winchburgh.”

The 23A service, the Taxibus for South Queensferry, leaves Newton at 7.01am and 7.32am. The Taxibus 1 service can drop passengers from Newton to Winchburgh every two hours from 7am to 7pm. The council spokesman added: “Council officers have been working closely with Newton Community Council over several weeks to define the level of service which can be provided for residents in the village going forward. It is anticipated that the resulting provision could be in place by the end of next week.”

The council has vowed to protect the travel entitlements and eligibility for school children and maintain services for vulnerable people, such as Taxicard and Dial-a-Bus/Dial-a-Ride.