ONE out of six bus stops on a busy city route must be taken out of service in a test scheme to speed up travel times.
During the pilot, a total of 26 bus stops will be removed on service no. 44 of Lothian Buses between Balerno and Wallyford.
And if a success is judged, the heads of transport should reduce the number of bus stops on other routes in the area.
The move comes after bus operators have informed the city council that a review of the distance between stops was needed to improve the reliability of services.
Edinburgh’s most recent road design guide states that bus stops should be placed approximately every 400 m along a route, although a closer distance may be appropriate in city centers or to meet special needs, such as protected residential complexes.
But a report to the Committee on Transport and the Environment, which will meet on Thursday, says for a number of reasons, many bus stops in the capital are closer together, with around 20% less than 200 m away, which leads to slower travel times and congestion.
Transport and environment caller Lesley Macinnes said: “We want to make travel by public transport even more reliable and stress-free, which is why we are proposing this process, in collaboration with Lothian.
“If we want to achieve a zero-emission future for Edinburgh, where air quality has improved and the public can easily make healthy and active travel choices, we must encourage more people to take the bus as an efficient means of transport. . “
The board states that selecting stops to be taken out of service should mean that no one has to travel more than 400 meters to catch a bus.
The bus stops concerned will be “wrapped” instead of physically removed during the test.
But if a reduction of stops for other routes is eventually agreed, it could lead to the transfer of stops and removals.
Cllr Macinnes said: “Of course, we know how important it is for residents to have access to the local bus stop, especially for those with mobility problems. That’s why we worked closely with Lothian to develop a methodology for the spacing of bus stops that assures everyone that they can take the bus near their home, doctors, school or shops. “
Alan Black, head of Lothian Buses’ delivery service, said: “Lothian is committed to providing reliable, sustainable and best value for money bus travel for customers. We are looking forward to working with the city council on revising bus stops which will improve bus travel times and overall reliability across the city. “