First Scotland East (Midland Bluebird and West Lothian operations)

Class320

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A few of BBT drivers are driving FSE services, there are less BBT duties at the moment. They did the same when the tours were paused due to lockdown. It is 0 minutes down the road as both operations are run from the same depot.

Thanks for that!
 
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GusB

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Could we remain on topic, please? One poster asked a question about sub-contracting in relation to First Scotland East, but that was not the green light for this to become a trivia thread about sub-contracting! If it's something you wish to discuss, feel free to start a new thread.
 

JurassicMan

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Thanks all. I’m surprised given everything above that FSE haven’t decided to do that? In the face of competition you would think they would be doing everything they possibly could to keep up full service.
Not sure who would have excess drivers to cover work for First as most have contracts Mon/Fri and almost all local operators are looking for drivers.
 

PaulMc7

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How many drivers are First short currently? Noticed plenty of service cancellations on their Twitter today for the Livingston services. Is Stirling/Falkirk etc similar?
 
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Falkirk doesn’t seem that bad maybe a couple of runs on the 5 or the 3 missing not as bad as livi anyway, there was some Larbert drivers covering over at livi and bannockburn the last few weeks but seen them back at their Falkirk runs this week .
 

PaulMc7

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Falkirk doesn’t seem that bad maybe a couple of runs on the 5 or the 3 missing not as bad as livi anyway, there was some Larbert drivers covering over at livi and bannockburn the last few weeks but seen them back at their Falkirk runs this week .
From what I've seen Livingston is by far the worst hit area. Through here in Glasgow is a bit hit and miss too to be fair but that's the nature of the world we are in and Covid related issues. I feel for drivers having to deal with it currently and management because bus customers are hard to please at the best of times let alone when buses can't run for whatever reason.
 

JurassicMan

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From what I've seen Livingston is by far the worst hit area. Through here in Glasgow is a bit hit and miss too to be fair but that's the nature of the world we are in and Covid related issues. I feel for drivers having to deal with it currently and management because bus customers are hard to please at the best of times let alone when buses can't run for whatever reason.
Livingston issues are self inflicted and the reason in the main for the current issues stem from the moment those in charge decided on Brightbus and then took on the 3 Edinburgh routes and put them into a depot that was already struggling with turnover of staff.
It appears that now both those ventures take precedence over the core network and with that everyone can see the results with so many services being cancelled daily and lets be honest with the current situation it is probably saving money.
 

mb88

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Has anyone else noticed that none of the timetables for routes operating from Livingston depot are currently showing up on bustimes.org ? Just shows the list of timing points down the left but no times. Larbert and Bannockburn services all showing up as normal.
 

stevenedin

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Bright Bus Tours and the Edinburgh routes must make more money than the core network. I rarely see an X22 or X24 in Edinburgh with passengers. They mostly run empty which is a shame. I can see them not running to Edinburgh at all soon apart from the services already there and of course the X38 which is still popular.
 
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Bright Bus Tours and the Edinburgh routes must make more money than the core network. I rarely see an X22 or X24 in Edinburgh with passengers. They mostly run empty which is a shame. I can see them not running to Edinburgh at all soon apart from the services already there and of course the X38 which is still popular.
Maybe it’s the daily list of missing journeys on Twitter on various Livingston depot routes that show the unreliability of those services; are the Lothian country routes getting any busier due to this?
 

Volvodart

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Bus driver shortage: First to make cuts in Glasgow, Falkirk, Livingston and Stirling

https://www.scotsman.com/news/trans...asgow-falkirk-livingston-and-stirling-3411677
Scotland’s biggest bus operation is to make more cuts to its services because of a “very challenging” driver shortage, The Scotsman has learned.
By Alastair Dalton
Friday, 8th October 2021, 10:11 am

The acute problems suffered by First in Glasgow and central Scotland are also shared by several other firms across Scotland, with West Coast Motors and Borders Buses “just making service with all hands on deck”.

First has been forced to make short-notice cancellations which have reduced the frequency of some services in central Scotland from half-hourly to hourly.

Services on some Glasgow routes are down from 12 to 15-minute frequencies.

First Glasgow is short of 17 per cent of the drivers needed to run a full service

First has already been prevented from increasing services from 85 to 90 per cent of its normal timetable.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK - Scotland (CPT), which represents operators, said vacancies had doubled since 2019 to average 12.5 per cent across Scotland.

First Scotland interim managing director Duncan Cameron said: “We are going to have to reduce the timetable further to improve reliability.

"Things will get worse, but I hope this is the last time we will have to do it.”

He said the shortage had been caused by training being delayed by the Covid lockdowns, long waits for new licences being issued and the “hottest” employment market for 20 years prompting some would-be drivers opting for other jobs instead.

Mr Cameron also expressed concern about the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) writing to bus drivers to ask them to consider driving lorries.

He said: “The heavy goods vehicles logistics shortage is not the only problem when bus companies cannot run full timetables.

"It seems that sector is receiving much more attention and priority than us.”

Lothian, Edinburgh’s main bus operator, said it was also short of drivers, but services had not been affected so far.

A spokesperson said: “Like many other transport providers, Lothian are in an extremely challenging recruitment market which, coupled with delays to medicals and licence applications, together with our safety protocols for colleagues who find themselves in the Covid-19 track and trace cycle, means we are experiencing resourcing difficulties in our driving team on a day-to-day basis.

“Fortunately, however, we are better placed than many other operators and we are hopeful that some of the pressures we are currently facing will begin to reduce as the combined impact of these factors begins to lessen.”

Jointly-owned West Coast Motors and Borders Buses said: “We are struggling for drivers like most. However, we are just making service with all hands on deck.

"All those who have a licence, including managers and the owner, are driving.”

Stagecoach declined to give details of how it had been affected, but admitted to short-term changes in some areas.

A spokesperson said it was “continuing to operate the majority of our bus services” and seeking to resume a full timetable “as quickly as possible”, adding: "We are seeing continued strong demand for jobs in our sector and are focused on getting the new drivers who are in our training pipeline on the road as soon as DVLA licensing delays allow.”

CPT UK – Scotland director Paul White said the “vast majority of services” were running normally across the country and operators were prioritising popular routes where there was disruption.
 

CN04NRJ

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It's sad that it needs to happen but to be honest I'm surprised more cuts didn't happen already before now

Hopefully they'll realise they need to improve pay and conditions to attract staff. E&M Horsburgh pay more than a new starter at First Glasgow which really says a lot.
 

PaulMc7

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Hopefully they'll realise they need to improve pay and conditions to attract staff. E&M Horsburgh pay more than a new starter at First Glasgow which really says alot.
Seen a few ads about for different companies to be honest and I wouldn't say any about Glasgow or the surrounding areas pay enough. Not seen anything that would make anyone jump into bus driving
 

CN04NRJ

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A B7RLE on service 20 is currently ablaze in Edinburgh Park, not sure of the fleet number.

IMG_20211014_120756.jpg
 

stevenedin

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I think Livingston depot have 69259 I’m not sure which other buses with fleet number 6925X there so could potentially be this. 69259 was the last ever bus on First buses X6 in East Lothian.
 

CN04NRJ

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I think Livingston depot have 69259 I’m not sure which other buses with fleet number 6925X there so could potentially be this. 69259 was the last ever bus on First buses X6 in East Lothian.

I had to do a 3 point turn along with a 63 and a 36 so didn't get any closer to see the full fleet number or damage. Fire brigade got there pretty quick and it seemed confined to the engine bay.
 

Baileygirl

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I think Livingston depot have 69259 I’m not sure which other buses with fleet number 6925X there so could potentially be this. 69259 was the last ever bus on First buses X6 in East Lothian.
This will be 69255 which is in the old blue livery. 69259 is white/ blue livery
 

Volvodart

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stevenedin

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That’s a shame about the 27. They must still be struggling for drivers. I wonder if they operated this between Livingston North station and Livingston South station it would increase passenger numbers as there’s bound to be a need for a link from both via the town centre.
 

freddiem

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Agree that it is a shame about the 27, but I think it will lead to a small increase of passengers on LC X28/276 through Craigshill, and possibly the X27 round Dedridge. I hope by removing this service First can operate a more reliable timetable on the other routes instead of a number of cancellations on more key routes.
 
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Agree that it is a shame about the 27, but I think it will lead to a small increase of passengers on LC X28/276 through Craigshill, and possibly the X27 round Dedridge. I hope by removing this service First can operate a more reliable timetable on the other routes instead of a number of cancellations on more key routes.
Yeah, it always was a pain as when the X24 was cancelled it was the last one for the day.
 

overthewater

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From Monday 8th November 2021 revised timetables will operate on services 5 and service 27 will be suspended in full.

https://www.firstbus.co.uk/south-ea...updates/planned-changes/services-5-27-revised

Well on the bright side the company said these would be the last cuts the management hope to implement, I expected a slightly longer list.
##

However this now raises the issues that certain areas will now be left with no bus service, one area being Ladywell West. I doubt the council will be able to impermeant a replacement as the new council tenders are due out shortly, it will be interesting to see where the reduced budget it spent.

We dangerously heading towards a situation, where First might end up leaving via a death of 1000 cuts OR never reinstating the withdrawn routes, the passengers may will have ended moving over to the other sides, mind you Craigshill never had a good relationship with First for a few years now. Just wait till they found out there no proper weekly ticket with the green buses ha ha. It's clear what First core routes are in the West Lothian area.

Yes of the Edinburgh bound Lothian country journeys are busier, but having 8 passengers instead of 4 is nothing to crow about. I still spot X22, x18, X27/8 and none of them set the heather alight.
 

CN04NRJ

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Well on the bright side the company said these would be the last cuts the management hope to implement, I expected a slightly longer list.
##

However this now raises the issues that certain areas will now be left with no bus service, one area being Ladywell West. I doubt the council will be able to impermeant a replacement as the new council tenders are due out shortly, it will be interesting to see where the reduced budget it spent.

We dangerously heading towards a situation, where First might end up leaving via a death of 1000 cuts OR never reinstating the withdrawn routes, the passengers may will have ended moving over to the other sides, mind you Craigshill never had a good relationship with First for a few years now. Just wait till they found out there no proper weekly ticket with the green buses ha ha. It's clear what First core routes are in the West Lothian area.

Yes of the Edinburgh bound Lothian country journeys are busier, but having 8 passengers instead of 4 is nothing to crow about. I still spot X22, x18, X27/8 and none of them set the heather alight.

Actually there is a weekly ticket now, available via contactless as follows;

cityWEST week £22.00
countryWest week (zones a-c) £22.00
lothianWest Week (all LC zones and Lothian City) £32.00
Network weekly (all zones, all services) £40.00.


I guess they'll never find out ;)
 

overthewater

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Actually there is a weekly ticket now, available via contactless as follows;

cityWEST week £22.00
countryWest week (zones a-c) £22.00
lothianWest Week (all LC zones and Lothian City) £32.00
Network weekly (all zones, all services) £40.00.


I guess they'll never find out ;)

When did that sneak in? if it all on the App? it'll have bypassed a few member of the public aswell then. This could change the battle to swing it for Lothian now.
 
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CN04NRJ

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When did that sneak in? if it all on the App? it have bypass a few member of the public aswell. This could change the battle to swing it for Lothian now.

Contactless tapping only at the moment, I agree it's not advertised as well as it should be as it's a game changer. Don't understand why it's not on the app, either way it's a step in the right direction.
 

PaulMc7

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I wonder what it would take really for First to pull out of the South and Central Scotland region in general to be honest. There's not many areas that are great bus territory and I can't imagine them wanting to lose out on a lot more battling with Lothian either.

Covid definitely hasn't helped either given even some buses here through in Glasgow are still a bit quiet in certain areas at certain times so I can't imagine the damage in areas that weren't great before Covid.
 
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Actually there is a weekly ticket now, available via contactless as follows;

cityWEST week £22.00
countryWest week (zones a-c) £22.00
lothianWest Week (all LC zones and Lothian City) £32.00
Network weekly (all zones, all services) £40.00.


I guess they'll never find out ;)

Compared with First’s week tickets is this a bargain? Because with £8 for a LothianWest ticket your only saving £24 with the week ticket

I know Lothian have more to offer with the Lothianwest/Network ticket with the LB and ECB services so they have that going for them!

also i have to laugh at the CityWest week ticket because there already is one.. *cough* the RIDACARD
 

overthewater

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I wonder what it would take really for First to pull out of the South and Central Scotland region in general to be honest. There's not many areas that are great bus territory and I can't imagine them wanting to lose out on a lot more battling with Lothian either.

Covid definitely hasn't helped either given even some buses here through in Glasgow are still a bit quiet in certain areas at certain times so I can't imagine the damage in areas that weren't great before Covid.

The only depot that is questionable at the moment is Livingston, however this on going battle has made to clear to everyone else if you come knocking on a First area don't expect us to rollover. I have to wonder how much money is being saved by pulling off the X23, 27 and the other cuts.


Compared with First’s week tickets is this a bargain? Because with £8 for a LothianWest ticket your only saving £24 with the week ticket

I know Lothian have more to offer with the Lothianwest/Network ticket with the LB and ECB services so they have that going for them!

also i have to laugh at the CityWest week ticket because there already is one.. *cough* the RIDACARD

What was the old First price before they made it cheaper to compete with Lothian?
 

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