Council plans 'arms-length' bus firm for East Lothian

First bus in Glasgow First Scotland East said the "difficult decision" followed several years of poor trading performance

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East Lothian Council is considering setting up an 'arms-length' bus company following the announcement First Scotland East is withdrawing services.

Councillors and officials also agreed to contact other bus companies with a view to continuing the routes at risk.

The council met the transport minister on Tuesday to seek possible shared solutions with Midlothian, which will also lose services.

Up to 200 First Scotland East jobs are under threat.

The company said the "difficult decision" followed several years of poor trading performance.

The operator, which is part of FirstGroup, plans to discontinue an undisclosed number of services in East Lothian and Midlothian.

It also plans to close its Dalkeith bus depot and "significantly" cut the size of its Musselburgh depot.

First Scotland East has started a collective consultation process with trade unions on the possibility of redundancies at the depots but has indicated it will offer affected staff posts elsewhere within the group where possible.

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