Changes to bus routes – Leith Links is hit hard!
The tramworks that have already closed Constitution Street are soon to also affect Leith Walk, for the next 18 months. From 28th March, there will only be one lane on Leith Walk, for traffic going south (that is, going UP Leith Walk). Buses will still go up Leith Walk but those coming down will go down either Easter Road or Bonnington Road (No.10,11).
People who live beyond the bottom of Leith Walk / Easter Road will be especially hard hit. We are told that the No.12 bus will terminate at George Street and stop coming down to Leith at all. This was the main bus serving Leith Links (and Salamander, the Pirniefields and Prospectbanks) and Seafield, and will be a major loss.
To partially replace the 12, the No 1 will now come down Easter Road as before and continue along the Links and on to Seafield (old Eastern General site). But there are two problems with this:
- The No. 1 will go from the foot of Easter Road along Vanburgh Place, Hermitage Park and Claremont Park, in other words along the south side of the Links. No buses will go along Duncan Place / Links Place as they have been doing recently. There will therefore be NO bus at all serving people who live on the North side of the Links, e.g Links Gardens, Links Place, Salamander Place/Street, Elbe Street, Mitchell Street, Queen Charlotte St. etc. and Constitution St (who have already lost the No. 16 bus).
- Although we have not yet managed to get sight of a finalised revised timetable, it seems likely (since there is now only one, not two) that the overall frequency of buses along the Links will be reduced, possibly by as much as 50%.
This means quite a long walk across the Links to get to a bus stop for many people, with a particular impact on anybody older / with mobility impairments / pushing a wheelchair or buggy / carrying heavy shopping etc. It could also significantly increase journey times. There could be safety issues, at night time.
Leith Links Community Council is very disturbed by this change. There was no consultation at all with the local community. The population on the north side of the Links is increasing hugely with all the new flats going up – people are told to use public transport, not cars (and few car parking spaces are provided) – but now the public transport is being removed!
We have signalled our concern to our three local Councillors and to Lothian Buses in the strongest terms. We will continue to campaign vigorously and will keep you posted with whatever replies we receive.
Please use the comments facility, below, to add you voice and tell us how these changes will affect you. These comments will, hopefully, strengthen the argument for this very damaging decision to be reviewed.
But where is the 12?