First West Lothian to increase services
- New timetables on most routes will begin from Monday 29th June, with an increase in frequency on most routes for customers who need to travel by bus, in line with Scottish Government guidance.
- First supports Scottish Government guidance on physical distancing as part of lockdown easing phase 2
- Face Coverings are now mandatory by law on all public transport including our bus services from Monday 22nd June.
As of Monday 29th of June, First West Lothian will be ramping up services to reflect an uplift in people travelling to support the Scottish Government’s physical distancing guidance for customers who need to use public transport, as the Scottish Government continues to ease the lockdown.
The move follows further funding being made available to bus operators to support the increase of services across Scotland by Transport Scotland and announced by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson on Friday.
This new funding follows on from the current scheme that is due to end in June and will provide an additional £47m to support an increase in bus service levels across the country, as the current 2m physical distancing measures limit the capacity on-board remains in place for the foreseeable future.
The new timetables will see increases in frequency on many First West Lothian services to provide more buses and therefore more journeys along the routes. Weekend services will also see some increases, to try and match the demand for services by customers.
The Scottish Government have also announced that as of Monday 22nd June, all passengers travelling on public transport in Scotland, including our bus services, had to wear a face covering unless they were exempt through being very young or with specific medical reasons.
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director at First West Lothian: “We welcome the additional funding from Transport Scotland, which will enable us to increase services and support the continued wellbeing of our customers and drivers through ensuring safe travel on our buses. This is critical as more employees start returning to work following the government’s announcement that some non-essential shops can reopen on the 29th June.
“All our vehicles are now fitted with measures to ensure that customers who need to travel can adhere to the Government physical distancing guidelines. This includes signage to advise customers on where to sit to keep a safe distance and new technology to help drivers monitor the number of people on board at any one time.
“We are working very closely with the Transport Scotland and all other stakeholders to ensure that we continue to provide an appropriate level of service and information for those who use the bus.
“We expect there will still be occasions when customers may not be able to board their intended journey due to capacity levels being reached. We are therefore advising people to check their journey details in advance on our app, avoid busier periods which are currently the afternoon and allow extra time for their journey as they may need to wait if their bus is full when it arrives.
“The wellbeing of customers and our team is my number one priority, and I would like to thank customers for their ongoing patience and co-operation in these difficult times. I would also like to pay tribute to all my colleagues at First West Lothian who have been superb throughout the last 3 months and have helped keep the key workers of the region moving. As the lockdown continues to ease, we all have a crucial role to play in getting the wider population moving again safely.”
Details of the service improvements will be on the First Lothian website from tomorrow, the 25th June. Customers should go to www.firstscotlandeast.com for all service information.