Sunday 31 December 2023

Post-Festive Pot Pourri (5)

Edinburgh Excitement

fbb has commented before on the excellent CHRISTmas Day network of services operated in Edinburgh by Lothian Buses, still owned by Edinburgh Council and therefore, one must presume, keen to offer support to its residents!

But there is more.

The two "country" operations of Lothian buses also publish a festive timetable and have buses running on Christmas Day. The first batch (Lothian Country) are for an area where the upstart has now seen off the incumbent with the pull-out of McGills (formerly First) from routes where Lothian has competed.

Here is a route diagram ...
... omitting Livingston, just off the map to the left. And here are the Christmas Day servicers.

and here is the diagram for Lothian East Coast Buses ...
... and the three routes operated.

Good, innit?

Ah but, we hear you cry, everybody knows that Scots place more emphasis on New Year than Christmas! 

Actually they don't; they just have two knees-ups with much celebration each time!

But Edinburgh's New Year's Day services are just the same as on CHRISTmas day with an excellent set of routes serving the city and out of town buses identical to the above.

But here is the thing, Just along the A8 in Glasgow we find ...

... joyous festive buses (?) ...

And Seasons Greetings from all at First Glasgow

Joy or Jeopardy in January?
We know that Lothian Buses has cornered the market for travel between the city and Edinburgh Airport. Service 100 Airlink ...
... runs frequently, every 10 minutes, during the day and seven days a week.
It is the obvious way to get from Airport to centre although the tram is a viable alternative but possibly slower and certainly with more stops, so it will feel slower even if it isn't! But there is a tram-shaped information "lounge"!!
fbb would always take the tram!

For a very long time service 100 has been the service to take.
In the past there has been competition for airport business, for example from Guide Friday ...
... but Lothian has had the vehicles, the "presence" and the frequency to overcome any attempt to muscle in on its business. And if the competitor won't go away, Lothian just buys them out!

That domineering approach has always applied to its city tour business as well.

But along came First Bus, intent in giving Lothian a bloody nose in response to competition on the Livingston routes. Needless to say, First's very first Bright Bus leaflet is still on line for anyone to find ...
... and spread confusion over the current fare. Mind you, McGills, current Bright Bus owners, don't help; this from their current web site:-
One offers a fare at £15, the other at £18 with no explanation!

But, to the point, fbb.

From January 1st Bright Bus (i.e. McGills in an orange skin) ...
... will start a competitive service  between Edinburgh and the Airport.
The price compares VERY favourably with Lothian's £5.50 ...
... and the route and stops are similar.
The buses are not super-posh, being recycled single deckers from McGills take-over of First.
They certainly look the part on the outside - BUT ...
... will they match Lothian's posh interiors ...
... with oodles of luggage space and "leather" seats?
Bright Bus is not as frequent as Lothian and doesn't run all night ...

So, it's a gamble!

Can McGills establish a "presence" quickly enough and before their budgeted "investment" runs out? Lothian are good at this game as McGills have already found in the Livingston area.

Expect fireworks!
Quality - or Price? 

Or Tram?

The tram is £2 dearer than the Airlink bus - at a whopping £7.50. OUCH!

  Next Pot Pourri blog : Monday 1st January 2024 

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