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22 Dec 2015
Stagecoach East Scotland has confirmed that express coach and bus services across the Forth will return to their normal routes and timetables following the announcement that the Forth Road Bridge will re-open at 0600 on 23 December.
Routes to and from Edinburgh, including journeys to Edinburgh Airport and Livingston, will once again use the Forth Road Bridge after it was reopened to all vehicles except HGVs.
Since the closure of bridge on 3 December, all journeys between Fife and Edinburgh have been operating via the Kincardine Bridge.
The Scottish Government announced today that the bridge is to reopen earlier than first anticipated after temporary repairs were completed. Stagecoach East Scotland played an important role in the Scottish Government’s travel plan during the closure. The company operated 33 additional vehicles, providing 11,000 extra seats per day, to keep people moving via the Kincardine Bridge to and from Edinburgh. Arrangements for connecting services to Edinburgh Airport were also put in place, and the use of the shuttle services ensured that routes operating across Fife were able to operate as normal.
The company also offered a reduced fare of £3 for return journeys on the shuttle services to/from Edinburgh for the duration of the closure, and have made the decision to leave this reduced fare in place until the new year.
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director, Stagecoach East Scotland said: "It’s fantastic news for our customers that the bridge is re-opening ahead of schedule and before Christmas. It means our routes can return to normal with regular services running across Fife, serving Halbeath and/or Ferrytoll P&R into Edinburgh. We are so grateful for the support our colleagues across the country have provided in offering extra buses and drivers to facilitate more journeys across the Forth and as a result we were able to offer high frequency shuttle services to Edinburgh and maintain a quality network of services in Fife during the closure. I would also like to thank my own team who have been marvellous - hugely adaptable and cheerful despite many changes and challenges over this period.”
"We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding during the bridge closure – we fully recognise that it has not been an easy time for people who use the bridge regularly and we hope that some of those who used our bus services for the first time during the closure will consider doing so again in the future."
The success of the bus priority measures put in place on the A985 were extremely beneficial in providing reduced journey times for public transport and Stagecoach have thanked Transport Scotland and Police Scotland for maintaining this access for buses, as well as locals in the community who have been patient and understanding of these arrangements.
Stagecoach services will return to normal from 0600 on 23 December and the timetable revisions put in place for the festive period will revert back to the original plans.
All services will return to normal timetables from 0600 on Wednesday 23 December, however for earlier journeys the temporary arrangements will still be in place.
The following shuttle services to Edinburgh, travelling via Kincardine Bridge will continue to operate:
X55, Dunfermline bus station to Edinburgh departing at 0345, 0415 and 0445, these journeys will also operate into Edinburgh Airport. The normal X55 timetable will recommence from the 0530 departure from Dunfermline bus station.
X59, Halbeath P&R to Edinburgh departing 0430 and 0500. Normal timetables from Halbeath Park & Ride will re-commence with the 0559 X59 Service
X55, Edinburgh to Dunfermline Bus Station departing at 0530, 0600 and 0630. These journeys will operate normal route via the Forth Road Bridge and Ferrytoll to Dunfermline bus station.
X59, Edinburgh to Halbeath departing at 0620 and 0650. These journeys will operate normal route via the Forth Road Bridge and Ferrytoll to Halbeath Park and Ride.
For certain early morning journeys coming from across Fife, vehicles may wait a few moments at Ferrytoll P&R until the bridge opens at 0600 in order to continue normal routes.
All other services X51, X52, X53, X54, X57, X61, X62 that cross the Forth Road Bridge will all revert to normal operation from their first buses tomorrow morning.
Ferrytoll Park and Ride will re-open for all Edinburgh bound journeys from the 0540 X58 to Edinburgh.
To Edinburgh Airport
X55 journeys at 0345, 0415 and 0445 will operate from Dunfermline Bus Station via Kincardine Bridge and serve Edinburgh Airport. The next 747 Service journeys from Fife to Edinburgh Airport will depart from Halbeath P&R as normal at 0548 and 0618.
The first journeys from Edinburgh Airport to Fife will depart at 0630 and will then continue as per the normal route and timetable.
747 journeys will also serve Ingliston P&R on Wednesday 23 December to ensure any customers who have made the temporary shuttle journey are still collected and returned to Fife. Customers can continue to use the tram between Edinburgh Airport and Ingliston free of charge by showing their Stagecoach ticket.
Service 55A will not operate on Wednesday morning but these journeys will operate as normal for their evening journeys. Full normal service on service 55A will commence on 24 December.