Lothian Country UpdateNew routes from Sunday 3 December

Lothian Country will operate two new routes and extend another in West Lothian from Sunday 3 December. 

Below you can find more information on these new routes and some frequently asked questions around services in West Lothian.

We will be providing services that get into Livingston Centre before 0700  Monday to Saturday, and we’ll have buses getting to St. John’s Hospital before 0730.  Our services will start slightly later on a Sunday.  There are no changes to the times of services X18, X27, X28 and X40.

We have to gauge the demand for our new services.  These will be operated on a commercial basis, so they have to make a profit in order for us to continue operating them.  Customer numbers will be monitored very closely to ensure that there is enough demand to continue their operation.

We are also having to recruit new drivers, and arrange vehicles to operate these services, in quite a tight timeframe.  At the moment, we can only operate the services we have announced.

With the resources we have, the majority of journey options in the area are covered by one bus route.  Where direct services aren’t available, we have coordinated our timetables to make it easy to connect between buses, to provide links that are currently served by a direct bus route.

From Fauldhouse to Bathgate, you can use service 72 and connect on to service X18 at Whitburn Cross, or you can use service 73, changing at Blackburn.  At Whitburn Cross, buses will serve the same stop, meaning that connections are easy, and at Blackburn, the connection will be at Ash Grove.

From Armadale, you can catch service X18 to Bathgate, where you can change onto to services 73, X27 and X28 for frequent connections to St. John’s Hospital and Livingston Centre.

The current network in West Lothian has been found to be financially unsustainable.  West Lothian Council provide funding for a number of services in the county (including parts of service 72 and all of service X40), but most services operate on a commercial basis.  We need to find a balance – serving communities with the limited number of drivers we have, and provide a reliable, robust network.

We have a number of ticket options to keep you on the move, and provide the best value for money.  If you’re travelling within West Lothian only, we have our countryWEST day ticket for just £5.50. This is also available on contactless, and if you ‘Tap, Tap, Cap’ with the same card or device, your spend will be capped at the day ticket price, and if you use the bus more often Monday to Sunday, the weekly cap of £22.

You can also buy our great value ticket bundles (which start from £19.50) from the TfE M ticket app, and if you’re going further afield, we have day tickets that can get you into Edinburgh and beyond.

If you’re just making a single journey, our fares are based on a zonal system ranging from £2 to £6.

We’ll continue to accept all forms of eligible Scottish National Entitlement card – just present your card to the reader on top of the ticket machine, and tell the driver where you’re going.

Yes.  In order for us to make a success of our new local network, and build on our current service, we will be constantly reviewing the routes we operate.  However, we will only be able to improve services, if sufficient customer demand exists.