• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Lothian bus and tram fares to increase

ByTom Harrington

Mar 14, 2023
A double decker Lothian Buses bus driving down a street.

Lothian Bus and Tram fares are to increase on April 2, in the first fares review since 2020.

The increase is most likely to affect households on lower incomes, and anyone who travels into the city for work.

Single journey fares will increase by 20p, taking them from £1.80 to £2.

Meanwhile, day fares will increase by 50p, taking them from £4.50 to £5.

Lothian’s airport bus service Airlink is also increasing its fares, by £1 for singles and 50p for an open return.

For Airlink, this marks the first fare increase in 8 years.

Sarah Boyd, the managing director at Lothian, cited low patronage, a labour shortage, and rising costs as the reason for the increase:

“In the three years since we last undertook a fares review, our business has encountered a number of challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, industry-wide recruitment shortages and continually rising costs.”

The increase is not unique to Edinburgh, with travel inflation taking place across the world in the wake of the pandemic, and exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, transportation costs have risen universally. 

The UK’s whole bus and coach industry has reported an overall increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 6.2%.

However, this is compared to 5.4% across the EU, according to Statista. 

Statista have kept a record of global ICP increases relating to travel, attributing the increases to a mixture of post-pandemic inflation and supply disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Both of these pressures have caused a hike in oil prices, which has had a knock-on effect on travel prices universally.

Transport for London (TFL) has announced a fare increase of 10p for a single, and 30p for a day fare, significantly lower than Edinburgh’s price increases.

London’s lower fare increase is apparently a result of TFL patronage recovering to near pre-pandemic levels faster than Edinburgh, with Boyd claiming Lothian services are “still not at pre-pandemic levels.”

Edinburgh students and staff who travel to campus are most likely to feel the effect of the increase, with parking spaces extremely limited around central campus.

However, the increase will not affect the free shuttle from central to the King’s campus.

12-290 Lothian Buses in Princes Street – one of three; ADL Enviro 400 Hybrid No. 211 (SN61BBX)” by Clive G’ is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.