East Coast Buses Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lothian Buses Ltd, has purchased First Scotland East Ltd’s Musselburgh and North Berwick depots. Earlier this year, the FirstGroup company announced it was to close its operations and withdraw services from 14 August 2016. All staff based at the two sites will have the opportunity to be transferred over to East Coast Buses Ltd under TUPE. East Coast Buses will be making significant investment to improve services, including refurbishment works to the Musselburgh garage, increasing the fleet size and deploying a new fleet of vehicles.
It will introduce six services from 14 August 2016, including the 107 to Dunbar, replacing First Service X6/106 and 124/X24 to North Berwick. It will also continue the 124, 125,126 and 127 commercial and school services. A ‘comprehensive marketing and communications plan’ will be put in place to prepare the new services for operation.
MD of Lothian Buses, Richard Hall, said, ‘This deal will protect key bus services and jobs but the benefits go much further than that. The residents, workers and businesses of East Lothian rely on buses for their daily lives and well being. We are pleased to be in a position to take on and continue providing these vital services and be part of the local economy.’
MD, First Scotland East Ltd, Paul McGowan, said, ‘Throughout our consultation into the future of bus services in East Lothian our priority was to safeguard jobs and protect key services. I am therefore pleased that we have achieved that through the proposed sale to Lothian Buses. I’d like to thank all my colleagues in East Lothian for their hard work and loyalty over the years. We will be fully supporting them as they transfer to their new employer.’