At Hallhill in Dunbar last night a working group gathered to follow up a lively public meeting on Jan 28th that vented frustration with FirstBus. Chaired by Peter Armstrong of Spott, the group agreed a constitution for Rural East Lothian Bus Users (RELBUS) with the aim: “a well co-ordinated, accessible and affordable bus service that meets the needs of local people”.
Dunbar folk have a valid gripe about their buses. A month ago, FirstBus sprung the halving of their service to Edinburgh as a fait accompli, but the reduction in suburbs served, higher fares and cast-off, high-step (i.e. disabled-inaccessible) coaches used are rubbing profiteering salt into poor-service wounds. Given outrage about First’s services in Ormiston/Pencaitland and ‘predatory’ fares where they face little competition (£1.20 to cross Edinburgh but £3.70 to get to Haddington from East Linton), it’s time someone sat First down and explained customer service to them in words of one syllable.
RELBUS could be that someone, uniting rural communities in our county—i.e. the 80% where First dominates. Bus users East of Tranent and Prestonpans should consider joining up. There’s nothing like a vocal, united front among customers to get any company’s attention. E-mail Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.