East Lothian Council

Supported bus services improved

Published Tuesday 11th August 15

East Lothian by Bus logo

Changes to the 110, 111 and 122 supported bus services operated by Prentice Coaches will be begin on 17th August.

The new supported bus service has been operating since May, and has seen a significant increase in the number of passengers using the different routes. East Lothian Council is constantly looking to improve the services we provide and have slightly altered some of the routes and services in order to better reflect the needs of the bus users.

From Monday 17th August there will be an improved timetable on the 111 Prentice Coaches service which connects East Lothian to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The number of daily journeys will increase to nine per day, including a new journey which arrives at the Infirmary just before 9am which will help staff beginning work and patients with early appointments. This follows on from the results of an NHS staff email survey, and from discussions with staff already using the route, which helped us to develop this new timetable to make improvements and encourage more passengers to use the service.
Most 111 journeys will now also service Queen Margaret University, the first time that most of East Lothian has had a direct link to the campus. This will allow students across East Lothian to access the university and also fits with the QMU Green Travel Plan. Around a quarter of QMU students now live in East Lothian, which has increased significantly in the last few years, and this service will now help many of them get to and from their classes.
The expanded route will now also provide home to school transport for Preston Lodge High School and Musselburgh Grammar School pupils. School children who are entitled to free home to school travel will have their Young Scot Smartcards activated which will be used as their bus pass. This scheme has already been operating successfully on some other services. This will further help to develop the route and offer savings to the council.

There will also be changes to the 110 and 122 services, also operated by Prentice Coaches, to allow better interaction within the supported service and other modes of transport and allow better access to work, health, leisure and education facilities. 
Most of the 122 sections of the route will now merge with journeys on the 110 service, providing more links between communities, including increasing access to Tranent from the surrounding areas, and a link between Elphinstone to Ormiston and Haddington, as well as allowing for a connection with the 111 service to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
We will also be adjusting the Sunday timetable on the 110 route to provide one journey to and from the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, which will allow a reasonable time for visiting on a Sunday afternoon.  

The changes and improvements being made are at no additional cost for East Lothian Council and will help develop connections between our communities and further promote sustainable transport in East Lothian.

Cllr Michael Veitch, transport spokesperson for East Lothian Council, said: 

“The new supported bus tender has been a success since it began operating in May this year, with the 111 in particular seeing an incredible increase in the amount of users using the service on a weekly basis. It is because of this that we have decided to increase the number of journeys on this route.

“The feedback we have received on the Prentice operated services has allowed us to make some alterations to the services we provide in order to improve them and better serve the residents of East Lothian. We will be gathering feedback from other operators over the next few months which may result in further improvements being made to other routes.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the three bus companies operating in East Lothian who are finalists in the prestigious Route One Awards. Prentice Coaches and Perrymans Buses are both in the Small Bus Operator of the Year Category and Eve Coaches are in the Small Coach Operator of the Year. This is testament to the excellent level of public transport which is available in East Lothian, both commercially and through the supported services. Good luck to all three!”

The new timetables for the 110, 111, and 122 services will be available onboard buses, at John Muir House and the John Gray Centre in Haddington, the Brunton in Musselburgh, as well as in most East Lothian libraries. They can also be downloaded online.  

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