Thursday, 2 February 2012

Aberdeen Council Considers the Lothian Question

It sometimes pays to think the unthinkable – and councillors in the granite city of Aberdeen have certainly been doing that.

Impressed by the almost universal praise they hear for Edinburgh's Council-owned Lothian Buses, the good burghers of Aberdeen have been encouraged to consider the possibility of forming their very own municipal bus company.

The idea was planted in councillors heads during a debate which touched on the concerns many people felt about the rising bus fares in the city. Lothian Buses, which is supported by Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian Councils, is widely regarded as one of the UK's leading bus companies – at least in Aberdeen, anyway.

So, they pondered, why can't we have a municipal bus company, too. “If Edinburgh can do it,” remarked Council leader Callum McCaig, “I don't see why we can't”.

Ignoring the uncomfortable truth about how much it would actually cost to set up a municipal undertaking in today's economic climate, it's likely that at least one local organisation would probably oppose the move.

In case you didn't know, Aberdeen is the home of one of the UK's – and the world's – biggest bus company's – First Group. I doubt they'd be in favour.

Wonder how much First would consider for a buy-out...?

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