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Old July 21st, 2014, 05:59 PM   #61
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New buses hitting the streets of Edinburgh

Lothian Buses - 21st July, 2014

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Lothian Buses have received its latest batch of hybrid buses.


The company's latest delivery of new single deck buses are Volvo 7900 Hybrid’s with the latest EURO 6 engine technology.

They feature significant interior improvements from the original ten vehicles received last year, with a more passenger friendly seating arrangement and interior fittings in the Lothian Buses “Classic” interior finish.

All vehicles are fitted with free WiFi and passenger real time information screens with next stop announcements.

The 20 new vehicles will be entering service over the next few weeks on the 30 route which runs from Clovenstone to Musselburgh.

Ian Craig, Chief Executive, Transport for Edinburgh added:

We are delighted to have been able to introduce a further 20 Volvo 7900 Hybrid’s to our fleet. This reflects our commitment to providing a greener and more sustainable travel offering to our passengers and to the local environment.

The Service 30 is very popular with our passengers and we hope that everyone along this route will see the benefit of using these vehicles.
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Old July 21st, 2014, 06:21 PM   #62
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Always good news. London excluded.. Edinburgh must be leading the hybrid busses table in the UK surely?
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Old July 29th, 2014, 11:21 AM   #63
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River Almond ferry service returns to Cramond

Edinburgh Evening News - 29th July, 2014

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City planners have approved a scheme which would see the return of the ferry linking Cramond to the Dalmeny Estate.

The short crossing over the River Almond was axed in 2001 during the foot-and-mouth outbreak. Now it’s hoped plans to restore the service by next summer have been recommended for approval.

A full-time boatsman will use a chain ferry to transport up to 12 people at a time across the stretch of water.

Ambitious plans submitted to the local authority by Cramond Community Council also feature lifts on both banks, allowing passengers to be lowered to water level.

A new jetty and pontoons will also be installed.

The crossing will allow walkers and cyclists to avoid a three-mile trek to the nearest bridge and replaces an old rowing boat which took sightseers across the river for more than a century until it was axed during the foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001.

Cramond and Barnton Community Council has submitted the plans, which are set to be rubber-stamped by councillors tomorrow.

The group has secured £10,000 in Lottery funding and further funds from the local council-funded neighbourhood partnership for a visitor survey which found more than 15 per cent of the 485,000 annual visitors to the area said they would use the 15-minute service across the River Almond if it was reinstated.

However, the group will still need to raise £300,000 to build the chain ferry device.

It is understood the community council’s plan is to set up a trust company involving the city council which owns the western bank and Lord Rosebery, who owns the estate.

Andrew Mather, chairman of the community council, said there has been major support from the local community and Historic Scotland. He said: “Receiving the backing of city planners is a significant hurdle to have cleared and this will help us greatly in attracting further funding.

“At present, walkers and cyclists face a long walk or cycle to get to Queensferry from Cramond. This will see them across in under 15 minutes. This will be the shortest ferry crossing in Britain and as such will do a lot to increase the attraction of Cramond.

There is a coastal route all the way from Silverknowes but at the moment you see a lot of people arrive at the river and with no crossing to Queensferry they tend to turn back.”

The fee for each crossing is expected to be set at between £1 and £1.50.

The city council report, which appears before the development and management sub-committee, states: “It has the potential to improve pedestrian and cycle accessibility along the city’s waterfront as part of the wider coastal path network.”

Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir said: “This proposal has been talked about for a number of years and is widely supported in the community.

“I’m sure it would easily become a tourist attraction in itself, drawing more people to the area as well as linking to Queensferry.”
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Old September 1st, 2014, 03:00 PM   #64
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Edinburgh ‘oystercard’ launches for buses and tram

The Scotsman - 1st September, 2014

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Edinburgh commuters can today purchase a new travel card for easy boarding on bus and tram that can be pre-paid for up to 50 journeys.

Dubbed an “Oystercard for Edinburgh”, the ID imitates the electronic ticketing used across nearly all public transport links in Greater London.

The new “citysmart” card for Capital commuters can be used on Lothian Buses and the Edinburgh Trams after topping up the pass with 20 journeys for £30 – equivalent to £1.50 per journey.

The card can then be topped up with five, ten, 15, 20 or 50 additional journeys from participating shops and kiosks.

But critics have argued that a £3.50 day ticket – which permits unlimited journeys on bus and tram for 24 hours – would be a cheaper option than the citysmart card for commuters taking more than two journeys a day.

However, Ian Craig, chief executive of Transport for Edinburgh, said improving the range of fare options means commuters can “buy and board in a way that suits them best”.

He said: “Everyone has their own preferences for getting around the city and how they like to pay.

“Innovation is at the forefront of our business and along with the introduction of citysmart, we will see our whole fleet fitted with free wi-fi and a further delivery of hybrid vehicles before the end of 2014.”

Ridacard

The new citysmart system differs from the existing Ridacard scheme which provides unlimited travel across Edinburgh’s public transport network but works on a subscription costing £51 a month per adult.

However, the pre-paid citysmart card can be charged with 50 single journeys that will last indefinitely – provided the card is topped up every 180 days.

Passengers will only need to hold the card against the bus ticket machine or tram stop card validator to use it.

Citysmart will be accepted on all Lothian Buses except the Airlink, night buses, service 98 and in Lothian Country Bus zone C; and on the tram except journeys beginning or ending at the airport.

Transport leader Councillor Lesley Hinds said the new integrated ticketing option was a “welcome addition to our joined-up transport system”.

Her deputy, Cllr Adam McVey said the card would help to integrate the tram line with the Lothian Bus service and encourage “as many people as possible to use public transport”.

“This will make public transport more user-friendly and encourage more locals and visitors to opt for tram or bus as their preferred method of travelling around the city.”

Tram expert Lewis Lesley hailed the success of London’s Oystercard and welcomed the introduction of the payment system in Edinburgh.

He said: “In London, the Oystercard has resulted in a huge increase in journeys. This will certainly make things more convenient.”

But transport consultant Robert Drysdale insisted that until the new card offers a discount it will always be a poor relation to the Oystercard in London

He said: “One of the beauties of the Oystercard is that it works out how many journeys you have done in a day, and it only charges you the absolute maximum that you would pay if you had bought a day ticket.

“I think what is needed is something that is both convenient and a bargain. If you’ve got to have 20 journeys on it to start with that’s £30, and you’re not getting any discount at all, so I’m not enthused.”
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Old September 1st, 2014, 09:17 PM   #65
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Sigh. Apologies from the outset for the negativity, but this barely compares to the Oyster. As stated at the end of the article, Oyster is user-friendly in all the ways that this isn't.

There are no caveats within the Oyster zone, like not being able to use nightbuses or not being able to get to Heathrow.

The Oyster pay as you go method doesn't live on a different card -- why have these guys made this a different card to the RidaCard?

Oyster will never overcharge you.

Oyster won't render your card useless (and your credit obsolete?) if you don't visit the city within 6 months.

Oyster won't force me to update with £30.

Oyster will let me auto top-up, meaning I'm never left without credit.

I view this new card as a baby step, and partly in the wrong direction.

Edit: the reason I'm disappointed is that, in this day and age of never using coins, it's a real pain when I head back to Edinburgh. Buses in London don't even accept coins anymore, yet I need to deliberately acquire them in order to travel in Edinburgh. I've been eagerly awaiting a card that I can use when I'm home and out and about for a few days, and this clearly isn't it.

Last edited by gghdev; September 1st, 2014 at 09:48 PM. Reason: Further explanation
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Old September 3rd, 2014, 01:19 AM   #66
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State of the art new buses for services between Edinburgh and West Lothian

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport - 2nd September, 2014

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Brand new, state of the art buses have hit the streets in Edinburgh and West Lothian. Local bus operator, First Scotland East, has ordered 18 brand new vehicles, each worth around £165k, with five of them already in service transporting customers.

First confirmed that the new vehicles will operate on Services 20, 21 and 22, which link Livingston, Broxburn and other towns and villages in West Lothian with Edinburgh. First also said that the new buses will sport one of the most eye-catching and imaginative designs anywhere in Scotland, but for the time being details of the paint job are being kept a closely guarded secret ahead of a high profile launch in October.

To complement the arrival of the new vehicles First revealed that it will improve the frequency of services between Broxburn and Edinburgh. From October 6th customers will be able to catch a bus every ten minutes at peak times (at the moment First operates three buses an hour).

The 18 Micro-Hybrid vehicles, one of the world’s most fuel efficient buses, come equipped with leather seats, free wifi for customers and extra room for wheelchairs and passengers with buggies. Each new vehicle is also fitted with the latest energy saving technology including a braking power system similar to that used on Formula 1 racing cars, which re-uses energy to power other parts of the bus. The Micro-Hybrid buses are also lighter than a conventional single deck bus and, together with advanced engine technology, are around 30% more fuel efficient.

West Lothian councillors Dave King and Carl John were amongst the first to step on board the new vehicle. Dave King said: “Many of my constituents rely on First’s services and therefore I’m delighted that the company has invested in its fleet. We want to encourage more people to use public transport, rely less on the private car and thereby help reduce congestion in West Lothian. These new state of the art buses will undoubtedly attract new customers.”

Carl John said: “I’m thrilled that First has invested £3m in 18 new vehicles for Livingston. I understand that the new buses are amongst the most fuel efficient in the world and will help reduce emissions in West Lothian. The buses look fantastic and are certainly very smooth and comfortable to travel in.”

Managing Director of First Scotland East, Paul McGowan, said: “Customers can expect to benefit from an improved service as a result of these new vehicles. Journeys will be more pleasant, more comfortable, smoother and passengers will be able to keep connected whilst on the move with our free wifi. In addition, as you would expect with any new vehicle, we will encounter much less faults and breakdowns.”

He continued: “We’ve a range of exciting initiatives planned in the coming months for our West Lothian services, including the introduction of an improved frequency between Broxburn and Edinburgh. Our £3m investment in 18 new vehicles is a key part of our commitment to improve services and attract more people on to our buses.”

The new buses will operate on Service 20, 21 and 22 which combined provide customers with services every ten minutes between West Lothian and Edinburgh.
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Old October 22nd, 2014, 04:26 PM   #67
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Lothian Buses to take delivery of 20 more hybrid buses

STV Edinburgh - 22nd October, 2014



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The Scottish Government has provided funding to help Lothian Buses buy 20 more hybrid buses from Volvo. The buses have an electric motor and a diesel engine in them.

It is hoped that the low emissions vehicles will help tackle air pollution problems in the city, and follows a delivery of 10 similar buses to the firm in 2013.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The Scottish Government is committed to public transport and to our ambitious climate change target of reducing carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.”
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 04:02 AM   #68
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Those buses look like a real solid, quality product.
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Old December 10th, 2014, 05:03 PM   #69
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Transport for Edinburgh - One Year On

Lothian Buses - 10th December, 2014

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Edinburgh’s integrated transport group is one year old. Transport for Edinburgh was launched 18 December 2013, bringing together Lothian Buses, Edinburgh Trams and Edinburgh Bus Tours with the vision of providing a seamless and high quality transport choice for residents and visitors.

Information is readily available in a range of formats from the traditional timetable to high-tech journey planners, and customers are able to easily access customer services including three Travelshops, two of which are located the City Centre.

Today, Transport for Edinburgh’s companies operate more than 70 registered bus services across Edinburgh and the Lothians with a 700 vehicle-strong fleet.

With the launch of the new tram service from Edinburgh Airport, the Group provides a modern, integrated and attractive public transport proposition that more and more people are using and relying upon.

Edinburgh Bus Tours continues to be Scotland’s third most popular paid for visitor attraction. The five star open top bus tours offer a different view of the city for over 500,000 people each year.

The group employs over 2,300 people making it the eleventh largest employer in Edinburgh.

The network is comprehensive, frequent and inclusive whilst ticketing is simple, multi-platform and offers great value for money.

To mark the first year of Transport for Edinburgh a short film has been produced that shows how significant the public transport network is to the lives of residents and visitors alike. The film shows the best of Edinburgh, it’s people and its transport system over the course of a day.

Throughout December Lothian Buses, Edinburgh Trams and Edinburgh Bus Tours will be looking back on the highlights of the last year, giving away prizes relating to the video and the last twelve months. The star prize includes a one year Ridacard plus tickets for Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay.

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Old December 18th, 2014, 12:02 PM   #70
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Cross-Forth hovercraft project resurfaces

The Courier - 18th December, 2014

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Proposals for a cross-Forth hovercraft service between Fife and Edinburgh have been revived.

A new company, Forthfast, has emerged as a potential operator for the route, seven years after a highly successful trial took place between Kirkcaldy and Portobello.

News of the company became known after it requested more time to complete a planning application at the former Stagecoach bus depot in Kirkcaldy, from where the 2007 trial had been conducted.

Although 32,000 passengers used the route throughout the two-week period, proposals to carry on permanently were sunk when Edinburgh City Council refused planning permission for a terminal on the south side of the Forth.

Despite this setback, enthusiasm for a water crossing has continued, with a belief that any new plans may now be welcomed in Edinburgh.

While there are no immediate plans to start any service, the request to extend the planning application would suggest there remains a belief such a business could be viable.

Both Forthfast and Fife Council have stressed there are no immediate plans to implement a new hovercraft service from Fife to the capital but Edinburgh City Council transport convener Lesley Hinds has told The Courier “conceptual discussions” have already taken place.
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Old January 16th, 2015, 08:09 AM   #71
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The Borismaster style stair glazing is quite striking on the new deckers!

New additions to the Lothian Buses Fleet

Lothian Buses - 12 January 2015

Quote:
The company's latest buses are hitting the streets of Edinburgh

You may have spotted new buses on Lothian Buses routes around Edinburgh and the Lothians. The company has received delivery of 45 new buses over the last few months.

The first of 25 new Volvo B5TL Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 3 double deck buses commenced operational service at the end of November.

These buses have a unique, innovative design with a glass area along the staircase and a panoramic roof, a first for Lothian Buses and the bus industry. They are also equipped with the most up to date Euro 6 emission technology. Operating from the company's Longstone depot, the buses will be used on the service 3 route from Mayfield to Clovenstone.



Twenty new 64 plate single deck Volvo 7900 hybrid buses have also been added to the fleet which are fitted with the latest climate control systems. They are operated from the Company's Central and Marine depots and can regularly be seen on services 12 and 24.

Lothian Buses currently operate fifty Volvo 7900 hybrid buses. There are over 1000 of these buses operating across Europe.

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Old February 21st, 2015, 11:42 AM   #72
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Update on the much needed redesign of the Sheriffhall roundabout from Transport Scotland. Can't come soon enough, especially once Shawfair starts in earnest.




Quote:
The Stage 1 Assessment is complete and has concluded that Options 1, 2, 6 and 8 be taken forward for further assessment at Stage 2 – see plans below.

Option 1 – Dumbbell Grade Separation at Sheriffhall



Option 2 – All slips provided at Gilmerton, no connection at Sheriffhall



Option 6 – Grade Separated Roundabout at Sheriffhall



Option 8 – Dumbbell Grade Separation West of Sheriffhall, Gilmerton Slips closed



An Executive Summary of the DMRB is available.

Stage 2 of the design process has now started. We will be undertaking further traffic surveys and traffic modelling, taking into account future transport growth. We will also be undertaking studies to gain a better understanding of the underlying ground conditions and will develop our understanding of environmental factors.

The conclusion of Stage 2 work will help identify a preferred junction improvement from the four options above. This exercise is due to be completed in Autumn 2015 and a public exhibition will be held locally at this time to present our preferred option and give people the opportunity to comment on our proposals.
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Old February 21st, 2015, 12:10 PM   #73
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Best news ever. I used to commute on that roundabout daily.

One time, my phone voice-auto-corrected Sheriffhall to Sheriff Hell and I thought it was hugely appropriate.
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Old February 21st, 2015, 03:03 PM   #74
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Great news regarding the roundabout!

Seeing I'm in here, has anyone heard anything further regarding Hydrogen Busses for Lothian. They were talking about having Europe's largest fleet but nothing recently and Aberdeen seem to be claiming the Worlds largest roll out with just 10 busses..

There was also talk of electrically charged busses, I remember seeing picture of a Bus in Lothian's livery with a pantograph coming out of it, months ago.. Again no news about it of late!
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Old February 24th, 2015, 11:16 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Silver Pegasus View Post
There was also talk of electrically charged busses, I remember seeing picture of a Bus in Lothian's livery with a pantograph coming out of it, months ago.. Again no news about it of late!
City plans electric car points and solar panels

Edinburgh Evening News - 24th February, 2015

Quote:
A city-wide network of electric vehicle charging points will be built under plans to slash the Capital’s carbon emissions over the next five years.

The proposals would see Lothian Buses install the technology, which will also be available to the public, as the firm rolls out electric plug-in hybrid buses – all part of a push to set Edinburgh on course for a carbon-free future.

Turning disused land into ground-mounted solar panel arrays and converting car parks into solar “canopies” are also among a range of measures being pursued or explored as part of Edinburgh’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (Seap). And efforts to shift 15 per cent of all city commutes from motor vehicles to bikes by 2020 – up from eight per cent currently – will continue to move ahead, with plans to increase the share of budgetary spend on safe cycling routes, storage areas and other schemes to seven per cent.

Alternative energy sources are also set to be provided at key developments across Edinburgh, including a combined heat and power system at the £850 million St James retail development and a micro-hydro power site as part of the Saughton Park revamp.

Council leaders said their plan had been put together after signing up to the EU Covenant of Mayors and reflected a 
commitment to hit a carbon reduction target of 42 per cent – more than double the 20 per cent goal agreed to by towns and cities elsewhere in Europe.

A future of plentiful and affordable energy awaits if the plan is achieved, they said, adding that success would help alleviate financial pressures bearing down on thousands of families living in fuel poverty.

Sustainable transport and green groups in the city have broadly welcomed the plan’s goals, branding them a “good step forward”.

Matthew Crighton, chair of Friends of the Earth Edinburgh, said successful implementation would provide a major boost to the Capital’s green credentials and the quality of life enjoyed by residents.

But he called for more in-depth information on how each Seap measure would lead to a fall in Edinburgh’s overall level of carbon emissions.

He said: “If the actions listed are completed, Edinburgh will make both an important contribution to tackling climate change and also be a better place to live and work.

“For example they will bring us warm homes which are cheap to heat, energy-efficient workplaces and quieter and cleaner streets.

“However, the plans need to be more concrete, setting clear timetables and quantifying the emissions which can be saved from each measure.

“It isn’t clear from this 
document how the council’s target of a 42 per cent reduction by 2020 will be achieved. While it makes clear that the rate of emissions reductions must be accelerated, it doesn’t set out the how it can all add up.”

And stressing that the task of decarbonising the city’s economy was not the sole responsibility of the city council, he called on partner organisations to make clear their commitment.

“The report rightly points out that it’s a plan for the city, not just the council, and much of it needs to be implemented by other organisations,” he said.

“We would like to know if those other organisations have bought into the plan – the health board, the universities, large private employers, banks and retailers. Public bodies have a duty to contribute to the targets in the Climate Change Act so they should already have put plans in place.”

The city council has said it will work with a range of partners – including local groups and businesses – to develop new initiatives aimed at cutting emissions and focussing on the role communities play in delivering projects such as energy co-operatives.

Replacement of street and tenement stair lights with energy efficient LED systems and the establishment of an energy services company, Energy for Edinburgh, are among other actions proposed.

Sustainable transport leaders said the council’s drive to boost levels of cycling throughout the city was achievable.

John Lauder, director of Sustrans Scotland, said: “The target of 15 per cent commutes by bike by 2020 is a long standing commitment by City of Edinburgh Council and one which Sustrans fully supports.

“In particular, the council’s Active Travel Action Plan is well constructed and it is increasing the budget for cycling on an annual basis.

“With eight per cent of commuting journeys in the city already by bike, there is every indication that Edinburgh will achieve the 15 per cent target over the next five years.”

Opposition leaders said there was still much to do to convince residents of the plan’s merits but stressed that, if fully delivered, it could put Edinburgh ahead of the pack.

Councillor Chas Booth, 
environment spokesman for the city’s Greens, said: “Central to the plan is showing how using energy sustainably is about creating a better, more competitive Edinburgh which unleashes the vast jobs potential in both 
improved energy efficiency and new types of energy supply.

“However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. It’s good to set challenging targets on transport and energy supply but only if all parts of the council are signed up to meeting them properly – the council needs to put its money where its mouth is.”

He added: “If the city gets this right, it’ll be in the vanguard of a fairer, greener economy.”

Directors at Lothian Buses said they were committed to using new technology to slash carbon emissions.

A spokeswoman said: “We strive to lead the way with the latest industry technology and we’ve invested in our fleet to meet the latest carbon targets.

“We’re fully engaged in the Sustainable Energy Action Plan and look forward to making further investments in new technologies which can benefit our passengers and the wider city environment.”

Councillor Lesley Hinds, environment leader, said: “Climate change and the rising cost of energy are huge issues, affecting each and every one of us, so it is absolutely necessary that we make every effort to address our own impact.

“We are already making moves to tackle carbon emissions and fuel poverty in the city, with a number of initiatives in place, and the SEAP will not only build on these but will inspire and encourage new ways of reducing 
emissions.”

We’re charging ahead of the rest

The Capital is already ahead of the game when it comes to electric cars, with a network of charging points that is the best-used in Scotland.

A survey by the RAC Foundation found there are as many as 1100 electric cars on Scottish streets, with the biggest share of those believed to be in Edinburgh.

And the city sits almost unchallenged at the top of the electric car league table, with drivers in other council areas shunning charging points.

In Glasgow, just 60 per cent of the city’s 42 points were used during August 2014, with the same proportion of Dundee’s 40 points being used. In Edinburgh, every one of the 38 charging points across the city were used that month.

Many of the Capital’s public charging points are run by the council or public institutions such as Police Scotland, NHS Lothian or the city’s universities and colleges.

Andy Kerr, executive of green energy hub the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, which has two charging points of its own, said: “Electric vehicles are a classic case where people are a bit nervous about them, they feel a bit different, but once you start driving one, you will tend to use it again.”

Proposals to ensure green outlook for the Capital

Key proposals from the Sustainable Energy Action Plan include:

• Establishing a Housing Energy Forum for the city, addressing energy efficiency and heating;

• Launching a large-scale energy retrofit programme targeted initially at the largest public sector buildings in the city and ultimately applying to all non-domestic (ND) buildings in the city by 2020;

• The replacement of all street lights in the city and stair lights in communal tenement properties with LED systems by 2020;

• Taking forward at least three major district heating schemes in the city by 2020;

• Evaluating a number of renewables projects including solar, photovoltaic, heat pumps, biodiesel and waste heat;

• Progressing the Zero Waste Project and the Energy Recycling and Recovery facility which will deliver considerable carbon savings;

• Aiming for 15 per cent of all commutes by bicycle by 2020;

• Implementing a new electric vehicle strategy aiming to roll out infrastructure across the city by 2020;

• Creating energy zones in local communities;

• Working with the ten largest public and private sector organisations in the city and encouraging the development of energy reduction targets;

• Establishing an energy service company, Energy for Edinburgh, to be launched in 2015 to take forward a range of key energy projects in the city.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 03:26 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Pegasus View Post
There was also talk of electrically charged busses, I remember seeing picture of a Bus in Lothian's livery with a pantograph coming out of it, months ago.. Again no news about it of late!
Early next year once the vehicles are in production.

Some info here: http://www.route-one.net/technology/...ectric-future/
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Old March 26th, 2015, 09:41 PM   #77
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Something I do not look forward too

Quote:
Lothian Buses raise day ticket prices


Commuters will have to fork out more cash to travel around the Capital, with fares for day tickets, Ridacards and airport journeys set to rise.


Transport chiefs say the increases are necessary to cover the cost of improved services and new, low-emissions buses, but travellers are likely to be angered by the price bump at a time of record low inflation and rock-bottom oil prices.


However, single fares and children’s tickets have been frozen for the third consecutive year, with the cost of hopping on the bus or the tram remaining £1.50.
The price of an adult day 
ticket will rise by 50p to £4, while the cost of a family day ticket will go up by £1 to £8.50. Tickets on the Airlink bus service between the city centre and Edinburgh Airport will also rise by 50p, with singles costing £4.50 and returns £7.50.


The change means the gap between bus and tram fares to the airport will shrink to just 50p, potentially raising more revenue for the city’s tram line as passengers stump up £5 for a smoother journey.
Ridacard costs are also set to rise, with between £1 and £18 being added to subscription payments for adults, depending on the type of ticket. However, the biggest losers will be students, who will see some of the largest percentage rises on their Ridacard fares.


The cost of a one-week student travel pass will rise from £13 to £15, or 15.4 per cent, while an annual subscription will cost a whopping £57 more – an increase of 12.1 per cent on the current cost of £468. Officials say the subscription increases represent as little as 5p to 29p per day more, depending on the type of fare.
Lothian Buses said that in the past two years, passengers have been able to use Ridacards on Nightbus services as well as trams, weekend and off-peak timetables have been increased, and 32 new bus drivers have been recruited to provide more services.


The price changes, which take effect on April 19, will also hit passengers taking the tram, except those going to Edinburgh Airport.
Lothian Buses general manager Jim McFarlane said the fare categories being increased had not changed for several years.
He said: “Our ticket range offers great value for what continues to be one of the highest rated bus services out there.
“To continue to deliver these high standards we occasionally need to reconsider our fare structure. The majority of ticket prices being revised were last changed three or more years ago and since then we have made significant improvements to our service and to our network.”


Mr McFarlane added that Lothian Buses’ strong financial performance, generating a profit of £8.5m in 2013, means the company has been able to return a “healthy dividend” to the city as 91 per cent shareholder. In 2013, that dividend was £3.3m.
Transport convener Lesley Hinds, who is chair of umbrella body Transport for Edinburgh, said she was “pleased” that single and child fares being frozen.
Cllr Hinds said: “The decision to freeze the single fare and all child tickets is to be welcomed. Passenger numbers across bus and tram operations are exceeding business plan expectations and the way forward, through Transport for Edinburgh, is for a common fares strategy to be developed for both modes which emphasises customer choice and best value.”

West Lothian travellers also face increases
BUS passengers in West Lothian are also set for fare increases, as operator First Bluebird announced an overhaul of ticket prices.
Single fares will rise by 10p from £2.20 to £2.30, while return tickets will cost 20p more, up to £4.20. Child tickets will also increase in cost, from £1.10 to £1.20 for singles and from £2 to £2.20 for returns. Other fares are remaining the same.
Paul McGowan, Managing Director of First Bluebird, said: “Despite rising costs and the ongoing challenging economy, I’m pleased we’ve been able to freeze many of our fares, including those for families, and held the price of weekly, monthly and annual passes, keeping them as affordable as possible.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had to increase the cost of some tickets, however I can assure customers that we’ve done everything we can to keep these increases to the absolute minimum.” Several timetable changes are also being made.


WHAT YOU WILL PAY
• Airlink single: £4 to £4.50
• Airlink return: £7 to £7.50
• Adult day ticket: £3.50 to £4
• Family day ticket: £7.50 to £8.50
• Student Ridacard (one-week): £13 to £15
• Student Ridacard (four-week): £40 to £45
• Student Ridacard (direct debit): £36 to £40
• Student Ridacard (annual): £468 to £525
• Adult Ridacard (one-week): £17 to £18
• Adult Ridacard (four-week): £51 to 54
• Adult Ridacard (direct debit): £48 to £50
• Adult Ridacard (annual): £612 to £630
http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.co...ices-1-3729367
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Old May 1st, 2015, 11:39 AM   #78
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Hi-tech bus shelters to charge smartphones

Edinburgh Evening News - 1st May, 2015

Quote:
City-centre bus shelters will be fitted with touchscreen displays which could allow passengers to browse online route maps, search for nearby shops and even charge their smartphones.

Work to install the first hi-tech bus stops will start this weekend as part of a multi-million pound contract with global street furniture giant JCDecaux, which will also see hundreds of other ageing bus shelters replaced.

The firm already operates similar touchscreen shelters in other European cities, where users can charge their phones and access free wi-fi.

However, a council spokeswoman said the authority was still in discussion with 
JCDecaux about how the touchscreens would be used, and no decisions had been made about hi-tech services at the new bus stops.

Bus shelters will begin being removed on Princes Street from Sunday, with temporary stops in place for two weeks while work is carried out. The first new shelters will begin being installed from May 17.

An online map has been published by the council, setting the removal date for every bus shelter being replaced.

Transport convener Lesley Hinds said: “These new bus shelters will allow us to communicate real-time messages to the public, visitors and commuters efficiently, transforming on-street advertising.

“Over the next six months we will endeavour to carry out the replacement programme as smoothly as possible, ensuring minimum disruption to road users and keeping local people and visitors informed.”

Cities including Barcelona have had the JCDecaux technology in place since 2013. Apps and websites available to commuters there include listings of nearby banks, pharmacies and police stations, and cultural listings for the week ahead.

Other services are targeted at visitors, letting them know how to get to nearby landmarks and suggesting itineraries based on how long they are staying.

The touchscreens in Barcelona also offer timetables and interactive maps for all public transport in the city, as well as interfacing with the bike rental scheme operated by JCDecaux.

Transport bosses in Edinburgh are in discussions about introducing a “Boris-bike” style scheme to the Capital as part of the contract. The shelters in the Catalan capital even offer USB sockets to charge mobile phones and free wi-fi services, although there is no indication that this will be available in Edinburgh.

Conservative transport spokeswoman Joanna Mowat said it “remained to be seen if the shelters will be useful beyond displaying advertising”.
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