2.5 Buses

2.5.1 New or augmented local bus services

Major new developments must be served by new or augmented local bus services.

Roads which may be regularly used by buses should be suitable in width, alignment and construction. The minimum carriageway width for bus routes is generally 6m within a 20mph area. Gradients on raised tables and speed ramps on bus routes should be a maximum of 5%. Swept paths should be checked for a 13.5m bus.

For larger developments, the developer will be expected to contribute funding for bus services until a viable level of service can be established. Higher density developments are likely to reach viable levels of service at an earlier point.

Where an existing service is to be extended from its terminal point into the new development, a new layover site will be required. The developer should hold early discussions with relevant bus operators to agree the location and design of the layover. Where the new development links two existing roads, it may be possible to route existing bus services through the site; in this case, layover facilities may not be required.

Bus routes, in order to be practical, must be reasonably direct and connect the centres of residential, business and shopping areas. There should be ready access to buses for clinics, housing designed specifically for older people or those with special needs, schools, shopping centres and other areas of intense pedestrian activity.

It is critical that areas of development with higher density residential use are concentrated around the bus routes.

2.5.2 Bus stops

In line with Inclusive Mobility guidance, no house or workplace should generally be more than 400m walking distance from the nearest bus stop. In most circumstances, bus stops should be provided on both sides of the road, so that buses stop ‘tail-to-tail’ and move away from each other and there should be a pedestrian crossing (drop kerbs or controlled crossing, as appropriate) between the stops. 

Bus stops benefit from passive surveillance (overlooking) to reduce the risk of anti-social behaviour, and walking and cycling routes to the bus stops should be direct, attractive and well-lit.

An area of hardstanding will be required, along with a bus stop pole, flag and timetable case. Destinations such as town centres, schools and clinics should be provided with bus shelters and adjacent cycle parking.

Where bus shelters are to be provided, these should be sited so as not to obstruct footways or sight-lines, and the specification should be discussed with relevant council departments.

Note: These webpages are for reference by developers of housing and employment sites in East Lothian.
They provide guidance on transport infrastructure against which Planning Applications will be assessed
and evaluated, and set out East Lothian Council's procedures regarding the construction and adoption
of new roads in accordance with current legislation.
These pages supersede all previous versions of our Standards for Development Roads document.

01/07/2023 Document release