West Lothian buses

overthewater

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People have wondered how long it would take before they go west and here we go....might explain the recent push for new drivers too.

https://lothiancountry.co.uk/

We’re excited to announce the launch of new services to Bathgate and Whitburn from August 19. We’ll be publishing more details over the coming weeks – so make sure you subscribe to our Early Access List to find out first!
Sarah Taylor who is high up in Lothian made this post on Edinburgh and trams facebook page about 12 hours ago:
We are excited to share...

LOTHIAN ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR WEST LOTHIAN

Lothian Country, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lothian, today announced plans for a further expansion of its services to West Lothian, creating new jobs and boosting the local economy.

From Sunday 19th August three new routes will be introduced complementing its current network, creating new links between Edinburgh and Bathgate, 7 days a week and a link between Edinburgh Park Station and Whitburn, 7 days a week.

Lothian Country currently operate Service 43/X43 between Edinburgh and South Queensferry.

Richard Hall, Managing Director of Lothian, said:

“We are excited to announce our wider plans for operations in West Lothian as part of Lothian Country. For a number of years we have received repeated requests to introduce a service to this area and we are delighted that we can today announce our plans. We look forward to releasing further more detailed information in the coming weeks.”

The introduction of these new services will create in excess of 65 new jobs.

The company will be holding recruitment days for those interested at the Mercure Livingston on 11th, 17th, 18th and 19th July

More information is available via email to recruitment@lothianbuses.co.uk

Executive councillor for development and transport, Cathy Muldoon, said: “We are delighted that Lothian are extending their services into West Lothian and we welcome the improvements this will bring to the public transport network that connects our communities. I believe that this will be warmly welcomed by local residents and West Lothian Council is looking forward to building a strong partnership with Lothian going forward to further improve services for local people.”

A bespoke fleet of double deck vehicles in Lothian Country’s distinctive green and cream fitted with USB charging points and Wi-Fi have been sourced....
 
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Jordan Adam

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I think they got a bit bored and needed another PR stunt/Vanity project.... That's all i'll say on the matter before i get hounded... o_O

Ohh and before anyone comes at me, don't bother. You ain't gonna change my views Lothian's recent expansions. :lol:
 
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overthewater

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Alas I don't understand what they're doing either, but it at least explains why they always and I mean always looking for drivers. Of course the managers at LCB are someone stupid, ( remember new years day)

You have to wonder maybe First know this was coming and decide, the current network is crap and needs updating. First will be offering a faster service via the 27/28 route, So will be people spend the pennies on the faster service or switch to Lothian? Also what numbers could be used I get the feeling it will be in the 60s... 64 will come back ;)
 
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I personally think it will be in the 70's to avoid confusion with current services in the 60's (61, 63, 67, 69). The last routes that went to WL in the 1990's were the 9, 63, 64 and X79 with variations on the first three.

One question I'd love to know the answer to is the depot that these routes will be running from, The fact that they are wanting employees in WL suggests to me that a new depot could be on the cards. Obviously if these routes prove successful then this could very well be the end for First in WL with the routes moving to Deans (a bit like the East Lothian situ). Lets not get too ahead of ourselves though
 
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smtglasgow

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I’m very surprised about Lothian going west now. Their other (successful) expansions in Midlothian, East Lothian and South Queensferry have all occurred after the old operator gave up. Unless Lothian know something about First’s intensions for First Scotland East, this is going to be the first time in a long time (since the bus war?) where they’ve actively launched a competitive attack. I’m guessing there might be something innovative about their new services, but as far as I know Livingston is FSE’s strongest depot, so they’ll put up a fight. I can’t see First launching a new network in West Lothian if they were thinking about pulling out.

I’m only an occasional visitor to Livingston, but I get the feeling the main flows are within West Lothian – the Edinburgh runs no doubt make money, but the rail line has killed most of the trade. If First still have the more comprehensive network and do an offer on season tickets, they might be able to withstand the onslaught. On the other hand, if First Scotland East as a whole is still losing money, is Firstgroup strong enough to resist?

But I keep coming back to the thought that Lothian are over-reaching themselves. The new management seem hyperactive. If this venture doesn’t take off it’ll need a lot of management time to fix…
 

Volvodart

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Bus registration details
Registration number PM0002883/1
Licence Number PM0002883
Variation number 0
Status New
Service number. 275
Service type Normal Stopping
Start point Edinburgh Park Station
Finish point Whitburn, Polkemmet Road
Via Gyle, Broxburn, Uphall, Ladywell, Howden, Seafield, Blackburn, East Whitburn
Date received 06 Jul 2018
Effective date 19 Aug 2018

Bus registration details
Registration number PM0002883/2
Licence Number PM0002883
Variation number 0
Status New
Service number. X27, X28
Service type Limited Stop
Start point Edinburgh Regent Road
Finish point Bathgate South Bridge Street
Via East/Mid Calder, Craigshill, Ladywell, Deans
Date received 06 Jul 2018
Effective date 19 Aug 2018
 

Volvodart

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On the other hand, if First Scotland East as a whole is still losing money, is Firstgroup strong enough to resist?
From the latest published accounts, were it not for the loss on disposal of the East Lothian operations, First Scotland East Limited would have had the highest operating profit margin in First bus, just ahead of First Leicester, although this is not the whole story, as the almost full year's losses of First Borders will be included here and also there was a favourable reallocation of group overheads in FSE's favour. Midland Bluebird Limited made losses though, not helped by an unfavourable reallocation of group overheads.
 
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overthewater

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There really is to many Coincidence now for First not to know this was going to happen:

* Network review, which has killed of the crappy old route and upped its games, while providing new links
* £2 day ticket for off peak passengers within livingston area. ( So first can say look are fare were already low before LCB come a knocking)
* No600:

I’m very surprised about Lothian going west now. Their other (successful) expansions in Midlothian, East Lothian and South Queensferry have all occurred after the old operator gave up. Unless Lothian know something about First’s intensions for First Scotland East, this is going to be the first time in a long time (since the bus war?) where they’ve actively launched a competitive attack.
But its well known that First will sell off any depot if someone makes an offer.

I’m only an occasional visitor to Livingston, but I get the feeling the main flows are within West Lothian – the Edinburgh runs no doubt make money, but the rail line has killed most of the trade. If First still have the more comprehensive network and do an offer on season tickets, they might be able to withstand the onslaught.
Spot on, the routes in to Edinburgh are dire now. I actually had the chance to spot a few yesterday teatime. no38 wasn't bad, but the 21/22, 27 were meh and empty on 5pm runs going past Haymarket.

I’m guessing there might be something innovative about their new services, but as far as I know Livingston is FSE’s strongest depot, so they’ll put up a fight. I can’t see First launching a new network in West Lothian if they were thinking about pulling out.
Going by what Volvodart has highlighted, thats a big fat no. Two dinosaur route which are no longer useful in the current bus market. 275, What does that bring to the table expect a faster and new service from broxburn to Gyle. It would seem its missing out Craigshill. No27/28 that is just laughable... awful routes, which if you use First can get to your destination much faster. If I lived in Deans or Knightsbridge would I wait for the LCB and go and a mystery tour? or do I use First bus service which take half the time? Bathgate to livingston town centre? 50min bus ride with LCB or 25min bus ride with First? Do I take the X23 or 23 to Mid calder with First or traveling on long tour of Denridge with LCB?

I think First could actually win this because what LCB are doing is backward. Some of the public are asking silly questions, like non of this zonal nonsense that first buses do, I dont think these people have seen East Lothian.

But I keep coming back to the thought that Lothian are over-reaching themselves. The new management seem hyperactive. If this venture doesn’t take off it’ll need a lot of management time to fix…
If this is the best it can do, I think this venture will put stop full stop any more land grabs .
 

Volvodart

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Some information on the new routes:-

https://lothiancountry.co.uk/new-west-lothian-routes-announced/
We’re excited to announce that the full routes of our new West Lothian services, starting on Sunday 19th August, are now available. To find out where these new services go, visit the following pages:

Service X27/X28 (Bathgate to Edinburgh via Livingston)
Service 275 (Whitburn to Edinburgh Park via Livingston and Broxburn)

We’ll be releasing more information, including full route maps and timetables, as soon as they become available.
 
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overthewater

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Edited:

It's a true mix bag this competition. It's like Lothian want to compete but its testing the waters to see what it can get away with, within using limited amount of resources.

27 and 28 will be hourly, so again you will have much faster and more frequent service provide by First, which as stated will not go on a Mystery. The 275 is a different kettle of fish, Goes via Kirkton, links in more place to new destinations, complements current First network.

its all to play for but does LCB really believe passenger hate First that much they will make the switch for no real benefit?
 
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MrHopefull

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I'm a driver at ECB and right now we are going into pay disputes with them because they are paying 11.50ph compared to our 10.61ph.

In my opinion this is shocking considering we are all part of Lothian.

Opinions.
 

overthewater

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I'm a driver at ECB and right now we are going into pay disputes with them because they are paying 11.50ph compared to our 10.61ph.

In my opinion this is shocking considering we are all part of Lothian.
Opinions.
Are you saying LCB get paid 10.61ph? and City work get paid 11.50ph? The thing is its different type of work and First Glasgow does this, its normal standard practice. Also does this low cost model makes it more possible to keep the current LCB routes going until it can regain the passengers?

As a driver do you like these new WL routes? I think there awful, and people are starting to think 27/28 aren't great either.
 

route101

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Are you saying LCB get paid 10.61ph? and City work get paid 11.50ph? The thing is its different type of work and First Glasgow does this, its normal standard practice. Also does this low cost model makes it more possible to keep the current LCB routes going until it can regain the passengers?

As a driver do you like these new WL routes? I think there awful, and people are starting to think 27/28 aren't great either.
First Glasgow pay different rates why ?
 

MrHopefull

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Are you saying LCB get paid 10.61ph? and City work get paid 11.50ph? The thing is its different type of work and First Glasgow does this, its normal standard practice. Also does this low cost model makes it more possible to keep the current LCB routes going until it can regain the passengers?

As a driver do you like these new WL routes? I think there awful, and people are starting to think 27/28 aren't great either.
within the Lothian group there are 4 different pay grades now

Lothian buses 11.81 rising to 13.61 after three years service
East coast buses (my depot) 10.61
Lothian country buses 11.50

personally I don't mind them expanding operations, I just don't agree with paying my depot lower than the other for the same work.

it also baffles me that since drivers at my depot are refusing to do overtime till it's fixed, that they are getting Lothian drivers in to do our overtime for 22 pound an hour.
 

smtglasgow

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First Glasgow’s website suggests the starter rate for newly qualified drivers is £9.20-£9.40, so maybe a slight difference between the city depots and Lanarkshire & Dumbarton. I know that not long after Overtown opened they were desperate for drivers and were advertising with the promise of no city work - I’m sure it was a lower rate than at other depots. That must have been before Overtown gained the 240…

I’d guess there are still lots of differences in the terms and conditions of older drivers who started with either Strathclyde Buses or Kelvin Central.

Coming back to Lothian, it does seem unfair that ECB drivers are being paid less to drive over the same city centre streets. Given the investment in ECB, I don’t think Lothian can really get away with suggesting it’s a low-cost operation.
 

smtglasgow

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Coming back to Lothian’s move into West Lothian, I’m still struggling to understand their motivation. If they’re just out to make money – and as far as we know this is an entirely commercial move - they’d be better off just cloning the best bits of the current First network. Not very original, but timed right and with a good fare offer it would do well. But they’ve chosen to compete on the weaker/less obvious corridors, presumably filling a few gaps from First’s review. I see First’s X27/8 regularly in Haymarket or Gorgie and it is usually only carrying singe figures - always seemed a very odd choice to get new mmc’s at time when investment is so rare. Unless Lothian’s X27/8 is going to replace all or part of the X25 – that would fill the buses.

The 275 might work. Depends on the numbers willing to go with Lothian. The Gyle and Edinburgh Park always seem to be poorly served from the west, but is there much demand in the evenings? Is the 275 an old Eastern Scottish number that will mean something to the locals – are there pensioners who’ll get a bit emotional at the return of green buses and the 275?

This is a lot less straightforward than setting up East Coast Buses or taking over in Midlothian. First don’t have their problems to seek, but if they stand their ground it could get very expensive, very quickly for Lothian. But Lothian does have an impressive track record, so would you bet against them?
 

Journeyman

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I live in Winchburgh which currently is served by 4 buses an hour on the 38 - it's dropping to 2 from next month, which is massively inconvenient for me and seems crazy seeing how much bigger the village is than it was a few years ago.

First have been utterly lousy in this area for years and will give up at the first sign of any trouble. I really hope this is the beginning of a bigger expansion for Lothian, and I hope they get to my neck of the woods. Having buses that integrate with the trams would be extremely useful for me.
 

MrHopefull

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Coming back to Lothian’s move into West Lothian, I’m still struggling to understand their motivation. If they’re just out to make money – and as far as we know this is an entirely commercial move - they’d be better off just cloning the best bits of the current First network. Not very original, but timed right and with a good fare offer it would do well. But they’ve chosen to compete on the weaker/less obvious corridors, presumably filling a few gaps from First’s review. I see First’s X27/8 regularly in Haymarket or Gorgie and it is usually only carrying singe figures - always seemed a very odd choice to get new mmc’s at time when investment is so rare. Unless Lothian’s X27/8 is going to replace all or part of the X25 – that would fill the buses.

The 275 might work. Depends on the numbers willing to go with Lothian. The Gyle and Edinburgh Park always seem to be poorly served from the west, but is there much demand in the evenings? Is the 275 an old Eastern Scottish number that will mean something to the locals – are there pensioners who’ll get a bit emotional at the return of green buses and the 275?

This is a lot less straightforward than setting up East Coast Buses or taking over in Midlothian. First don’t have their problems to seek, but if they stand their ground it could get very expensive, very quickly for Lothian. But Lothian does have an impressive track record, so would you bet against them?
the word is that they are trying to get first and stage coach out the lothians
 

smtglasgow

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Funnily enough, this West Lothian adventure reminds me of Stagecoach launching their G1/G2 in the West End of Glasgow a few years ago. It seemed such a bold and unusual move (every 5 mins on a completely new route!) that we all thought there must be a masterplan. But no, it was terrible idea all along, and it vanished after a few months. I might be completely wrong - Lothian obviously sense an opportunity - but I just get a sense of hubris about all this.
 

MrHopefull

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Funnily enough, this West Lothian adventure reminds me of Stagecoach launching their G1/G2 in the West End of Glasgow a few years ago. It seemed such a bold and unusual move (every 5 mins on a completely new route!) that we all thought there must be a masterplan. But no, it was terrible idea all along, and it vanished after a few months. I might be completely wrong - Lothian obviously sense an opportunity - but I just get a sense of hubris about all this.
In my opinion I think they are hoping it will be the same as what happened with first down East Lothian eventually getting lots of routes out that way to push first out.

As Lothian are already trying to push prentice out haddington atm
 

overthewater

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it also baffles me that since drivers at my depot are refusing to do overtime till it's fixed, that they are getting Lothian drivers in to do our overtime for 22 pound an hour.
Surly it would be cheaper to try and increase your wage over period of time instead of waster 12 extra on overtime drivers?

Coming back to Lothian’s move into West Lothian, I’m still struggling to understand their motivation. If they’re just out to make money – and as far as we know this is an entirely commercial move - they’d be better off just cloning the best bits of the current First network. Not very original, but timed right and with a good fare offer it would do well. But they’ve chosen to compete on the weaker/less obvious corridors, presumably filling a few gaps from First’s review. I see First’s X27/8 regularly in Haymarket or Gorgie and it is usually only carrying singe figures - always seemed a very odd choice to get new mmc’s at time when investment is so rare. Unless Lothian’s X27/8 is going to replace all or part of the X25 – that would fill the buses.
Why would anyone want to fill in on those gaps? Most of the passengers always complained about time keeping on the route when the buses come out Edinburgh. First will still offer a more direct link to most places with Edinburgh, if passengers wanted to go to Bathgate most where quicker changing onto an 800.


The 275 might work. Depends on the numbers willing to go with Lothian. The Gyle and Edinburgh Park always seem to be poorly served from the west, but is there much demand in the evenings? Is the 275 an old Eastern Scottish number that will mean something to the locals – are there pensioners who’ll get a bit emotional at the return of green buses and the 275?
Yes 275 is an old Easter Scottish route, it disappeared around 18 years ago. * im sure it wasnt that old IE, first appearing around 1990? Other service that cover that route were:

* 275: Broxburn - Pumphetson - Ladywell - St johns H - Livingston - Dedridge - West Calder - Bents - Bathgate
* 276: as 275 but goes via Craighills aswell evening and sundys
* 284: Broxburn - Pumphetson - Craigshill - Livingston - - Dedridge - West Calder

The route via East Calder were 281 and 27..

This is a lot less straightforward than setting up East Coast Buses or taking over in Midlothian. First don’t have their problems to seek, but if they stand their ground it could get very expensive, very quickly for Lothian. But Lothian does have an impressive track record, so would you bet against them?
I hope First does take a stand.


I live in Winchburgh which currently is served by 4 buses an hour on the 38 - it's dropping to 2 from next month, which is massively inconvenient for me and seems crazy seeing how much bigger the village is than it was a few years ago.

First have been utterly lousy in this area for years and will give up at the first sign of any trouble. I really hope this is the beginning of a bigger expansion for Lothian, and I hope they get to my neck of the woods. Having buses that integrate with the trams would be extremely useful for me.
How? LCB will not operate all the way to Falkirk, I have my doubts it will operate all the way to Linlithgow. It should be noted there is a big pile of money WLC is sitting on for new bus routes around Winchburgh, but have failed to spend it.

the word is that they are trying to get first and stage coach out the lothians
Then the LCB are just are stupid as I suspected. LCB can't replace X51.
 

ross4122

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Then the LCB are just are stupid as I suspected. LCB can't replace X51.
Look how they pushed First out of Queensferry, and East Lothian. Not saying it can be done to Fife (Express, specifically), but Lothian will try their best to take a jump at any gap in the market, ...whether the public see it like that or not!
 

overthewater

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Look how they pushed First out of Queensferry, and East Lothian. Not saying it can be done to Fife (Express, specifically), but Lothian will try their best to take a jump at any gap in the market, ...whether the public see it like that or not!
Lothian would have to operate a direct replacement for any passengers to make the switch, ie Express... LCB would also need to operate Livingston to Glasgow section, again I can't see that happening.
 

ross4122

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Nor can I (re Glasgow). However, if they increased the service to half-hourly Dunfermline to Livingston, and maybe some extra morning/evening journeys then they could get somewhere.

I've never seen an X51 so can't comment on the passenger levels, however as far as I'm lead to believe it's quite popular.
 

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