MP for Edinburgh East Sheila Gilmore has joined calls led by Edinburgh Labour for an urgent meeting between the City of Edinburgh Council and Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP following changes to the Scottish Government’s bus service funding arrangements.

The City of Edinburgh Council Transport Committee accepted a Labour amendment stating a 20% cut in Edinburgh’s Bus Service Operator Grant, and a real-terms reduction in the concessionary bus travel grant, is directly responsible for cuts in Lothian Bus services due to be implemented next week.

On Tuesday this week Lothian Buses announced that single fares would increase to £1.40 while day passes would increase by 9% on 04 March 2012.

Ms Gilmore has backed the call and commenting on the changes said:

‘Residents across this city are proud of the award winning bus system we have in Edinburgh, but changes in the Scottish Government’s funding arrangements really do represent an attack on our services.

‘Not only will prices go up again, but services are being slashed to help control budgets.

‘The SNP has cut funding for buses in Edinburgh for three years running, hitting workers at a time when people are cutting back on car use. We need a well funded bus service to ensure we keep this city moving.

‘Edinburgh Labour is right to call on Scottish Ministers to meet with the Council and improve the funding settlement.’