Concerns raised about Lothian Buses money for trams
Potential impact on buses in Midlothian
Mr Kenneth Lawrie has written to the company to raise doubts about the potential impact the move could have on Midlothian bus services.
While Edinburgh City Council, which has requested the extraordinary £20 million dividend be considered, is the majority shareholder in Lothian Buses, Midlothian Council has a 5% stake in the business.
Lothian Buses and the trams operate separately
In a letter to Jim McFarlane, chair and interim general manager of Lothian Buses, Mr Lawrie states: “It was always Midlothian Council’s understanding that Lothian Buses and the Edinburgh trams were two separate companies and would operate in this way. The recent announcements suggest that one is increasingly dependent on the other in terms of its future strategic direction and this can only be to the potential detriment of Lothian Buses’ future and areas outlying from Edinburgh.
“Overall, it is feared that in trying to meet the wishes of the City of Edinburgh Council, this may come at a cost to the public transport users within Midlothian. Midlothian residents are very reliant on the services provided by Lothian Buses.”
Lothian Buses stresses continuing commitment to Midlothian services
At a full council meeting on Tuesday, councillors heard that Mr McFarlane has responded and has reiterated his continuing commitment to fleet investment and network services in Midlothian.