All party commitment to keep Lothian Buses in public ownership

Transport representatives from each political group on the Council today united to affirm their support for keeping Lothian Buses in public ownership.

The move follows speculation surrounding a report agreed by the Transport and Environment Committee on Tuesday 30 August.

The report, Transport for Edinburgh – Governance, gave the go-ahead for the delivery of a Service Level Agreement setting out funding and working arrangements between Transport for Edinburgh (TfE) and the Council.

It also agreed proposals for TfE to develop commercial business plans for a number of specific functions, for example Edinburgh Bus Station, Park and Ride sites and City Operations (including CCTV and traffic and travel information), integrated ticketing, communications and marketing.

Today’s statement, signed by Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds (Scottish Labour Party), Transport Vice Convener Councillor Adam McVey (Scottish National Party), Councillor Nigel Bagshaw (Transport spokesperson – Scottish Green Party), Councillor Nick Cook (Transport spokesperson – Scottish Conservative and Unionist) and Councillor Robert Aldridge (Transport spokesperson – Scottish Liberal Democrats), reads as follows:

“We are writing as a group to set the record straight following public speculation which has created unnecessary anxiety among employees of Lothian Buses and the travelling public.

“The report agreed at last Tuesday’s Transport & Environment committee was about the relationship between Transport for Edinburgh (TfE) and the Council, not about the ownership or day to day running of Lothian Buses. TfE has been the Shareholder for both Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams since October 2013, with the Chairs of Bus and Tram boards representing the companies on TfE’s own board. 

“As a Council, our vision is to develop a truly integrated public transport system for the Capital. Lothian Buses is a much-valued and central part of that vision and we'll continue to ensure it keeps thriving and growing to meet the City's transport needs.

“Lothian Buses is one of Edinburgh’s best-loved local companies and every single political group on the City of Edinburgh Council remains fully committed to keeping it in public ownership. Day to day running of Lothian Buses is – and will continue to be – the responsibility of the Lothian Buses Board and management team.”

 

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