Review of "Lothian Buses (LRT)"

published 14/09/2005 | marcellep
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 49
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About me :
Pro There when you need one, Covers big area, Nice staff, Price
Cons May need to stand
very helpful
Quality of Rooms
Customer service
Frequency of bus / buses
Value for money

"Lothian Buses~ Edinburgh~ Best By Far"

Should you find that you ever need to commute in or around Edinburgh then you will more than likely end up on one of these buses. Who am I talking about? I am referring to the biggest bus company in Edinburgh Lothian Buses (LRT)

**About the company**

Previously known as Lothian region transport the largest bus company in Edinburgh claims to have the biggest fleet of buses on Edinburgh roads along with the most passengers on a daily basis. LRT now has fleet of over 650 buses and currently has over 85 different bus routes. Employs in excess of 1000 staff to operate there unique service to the public. They have a 24 help line that will provide you with any information regarding the service of any bus in or around Edinburgh

**The bus**

Well most of LRT fleet is made up of double decker buses that are maroon and white in colour (older buses). The newer buses tend to be a red and white colour. They also have single decker buses and buses that are bendy in the middle. Full descriptions below

*Standard double decker~ this is the most common bus that you will see when travelling in Edinburgh. The buses are enormous to say the lease and they are very basic. They seat about 95-105 passengers over the 2 decks, LRT also allow up to 12 passengers to stand on the lower deck. There are seats that are particularly for the elderly or disabled, they have a sign on them asking you to give them up if someone elderly/disabled comes on the bus. These seats are situated in the middle of the bus just beside the exit door. Passengers that have luggage or push chairs are asked to place them in the designated hold. If you decide to venture upstairs then you may be in for a little shock as the buses tend to be rather untidy and when I say untidy what I mean is that you likely to find used newspapers on the floor, cans of juice rolling about the bus, not to mention used chip shop wrappers.

Single decker buses~ these buses tend to me less busy and certainly a lot cleaner compared to other buses in the fleet. Passenger numbers on these buses are only about 49 at the max with a few more standing. I believe the reason they are a lot cleaner is that they do not have upstairs deck. Unfortunately due to the size these buses get full very quickly therefore if you could often be standing for the whole journey.

Bendy Buses~ not sure what the correct name for these particular buses is so I will call them the bendy buses. They basically are two buses joined together that bend in the middle when going round corners. These are the newest arrival to the LRT fleet and by far they are the best buses that LRT offer. These buses will seat about 100 passengers. These buses all have the ability to lower to ground level to allow buggies and wheelchairs easy access.

**Safety on board**

Its LRT top priority to ensure that there staff and passengers are safe whilst on there buses. To help maintain a safe environment all buses are equipped with close circuit television that records whilst the bus is in operation. Locals believe that only the upper deck has CCTV I can confirm that most LRT buses are equipped with at least 5 cameras that cover ever angle of the bus. To protect the driver most buses are equipped with a reinforced plastic shield over the driver's cabin. This plastic is strong enough to stop people from assaulting the driver. All buses have a direct link to the bus control via the onboard radio system should they need to get the police or of course get an ambulance.

LRT will prosecute anyone that verbally or physically assaults there staff.


With over 85 different bus routes that you can take you are guaranteed that LRT will take you to your destination. They cover all major attraction in Edinburgh including Edinburgh castle, Butterfly farm (Dalkeith), Edinburgh Zoo, Holyrood Palace, The new Scottish parliament and many more attractions that Edinburgh has to offer.

Now in addition to the attractions of the capital LRT can also deliver you to 1 of Edinburgh's 15 hospitals and yes that is taking every hospital in to account.

Here to study then don't worry LRT will deliver you direct to any one of the 19 colleges/campus.

There is not one place of interest within Edinburgh that I can think of that LRT will not be able to deliver you too. Even if you plan to go out in the middle of the night you can be guaranteed to get a bus.

**Times** (Normal Buses)

As there are so many different buses on the go at any point you are always guaranteed to have a bus arrive fairly soon. Most of the busy routes I.e. in to the city centre run every 12/15minutes meaning that you will not have to wait all that long on the bus.

Monday to Friday buses run from 06.00am to 12.00midnight

Saturday most buses start at 0.700am and finish at 23.00hrs approx

Sunday is a very limited timetable buses run from about 0.800am till about 22.00hrs

*During these times the buses that are running as the last bus will often be part route meaning that they will stop at a certain place.

**Special services** (Air Link)

If you need to get to Edinburgh airport then you do not need to worry about getting a taxi and paying through the nose for it as LRT offer a great service. Yes they run a service from the city centre of Edinburgh to Edinburgh airport during the journey it will stop at about 6 stops to collect additional passengers. This bus tends to be very quiet on most journeys. Journey time from the centre to the airport is approximately 25minutes. These buses are very frequent during the day they are every 10 minutes and after 00.45hrs they are every hour. Air link buses are blue in colour and only stop at selected bus stops.

**Night Buses**

LRT offer about 12 different night service buses that cover most of Edinburgh in the wee small hours. These buses mostly run from the city centre to the out skirts of Edinburgh. Most of the N buses run every hour from midnight and run up until the wee small hours of the morning being 6am. Whilst on these buses you can expect for drunks to be on them on a Friday and Saturday as this is so much cheaper way of travelling around Edinburgh after a good night out. The way to spot the night bus is that it will have a big red N followed by the number on the front of the bus. Night buses tend to be single decker buses unless it's a busy route.

**Sightseeing Buses**

Yes they also offer a sightseeing tour of Edinburgh onboard there great open top bus. Bus leave city centre every ten minuets and last for about 1hr. When you buy the 24hr ticket you are able to jump on and off the sightseeing buses for that period. They will take you around Edinburgh and of course you are provided with a guide.

** There are options on these buses to have the guides talk translated in to different languages.


Now this is the great part with LRT are there are so many ways that you can pay for your fare.

*Normal Buses*

*Ridacard~ a electronic card that will give you unlimited travel on LRT normal buses, all you need to do is swipe you card on the machine on the bus, the light will go green to indicate that you have credit on the card. Costs are below

Paying by direct debit
Child £21.00 per month £288 Anually
Student £26.00 £360 Anually
Adult £31.00 £432 Anually

Now the great thing about these cards is if you lose it LRT will replace it within 4 weeks for £5.00

*day saver ticket~ If your travelling on LRT buses for the day only then this is certainly the best option for you. £2.30 for adult and £2.00 for child this will give you unlimited travel on the normal service.

*Cash onboard~ you can still pay with cash onboard all the LRT buses but please be aware that they do not offer change so either have the exact change available or you will pay more.

This is easy to work out its done in stages

Stages 1-8 Green bands would cost you 80p
Stages 9+ red bands would cost £1.00

Children will pay 60p regardless where they are travelling too.


If you're lucky enough to be an OAP then you will have the following fares to pay

Monday to Friday before 9.30am then you pay a flat fare of 40p and anytime after 9.30am and at the weekends you pay nothing. Correct you can travel across the city for nothing.

**Air Link**

From any point on the route to the airport you pay the same fare.

Adult £3.00 single or £5.00 open return
Child £2.00 Single or £3.00 open return

**Night Buses**

One flat fare is all you pay on the night service buses.

£2.00 for every passenger child or adult
£1.00 if you have a ridacard

There is no way at all you will get a Edinburgh taxi for as little as £2 it would cost you that just to book it.

**Sightseeing buses**

When you buy a ticket it lasts you for 24 hrs so you are able to jump on and off the sightseeing buses all day.

Adult £8.50
Child £2.50
OAP £7.50
Student £7.50
Family £19.50

Now when you buy this ticket you will automatically qualify for 10% discount of the admission charge at Edinburgh castle.


Most of the time driver of LRT are very pleasant when you board there buses they will greet you with a friendly smile and of course a "Hello". The drivers are always willing to help you, so if your not sure where you going just ask the driver to let you know when you arrive at your destination. An idea would be so sit close to the driver if you are not sure of where you're going that way he will not forget about you. All drivers have a LRT uniform on whilst in duty and there appearance is normally very clean and tidy.

**Bus Stops**

There are now without a lie of a word there are over 1000 bus stops within Edinburgh. Now these are very basic in most areas, they consist of metal shelters that will protect you from the wind and rain. At all bus stops there is a timetable that will tell you when the next bus is due and it will also provide you with information on bus routes too. Just a point here make sure your standing at the correct bus stop as in many areas especially the city centre there are about 4/5 bus stops in a row.

LRT and the city of Edinburgh council are currently running trials with new bus stops, if these bus stops get the go ahead then you will be told by a voice what bus is arriving next and where it goes.

**LRT Shops**

There are 3 LRT travel shops in Edinburgh that will give you all the information you will ever need about any aspect of LRT services. You can also buy bus tickets there to and of course pick up timetables

These are situated at the following locations~

Waverly bridge~ Just outside the train station

Hanover Street~ is just off princess St

Shandwick Pl~ is situated at the west end of Edinburgh

All shops are open from 0815hrs to 1800 Monday to Saturday

*Waverly bridge is the only store open on a Sunday from 0930 till 1700hrs

**My conclusion**

I think I should be delighted to have such a good bus service here in Edinburgh. The fares are very cheap in comparison to other means of transport and any time that I have travelled on there buses I have always been happy with the service. As I live on the out skirts of Edinburgh I find that the frequency of the buses in my area is super. I still find it hard to believe that LRT can charge us such a low fare and still provide an excellent bus service. I would definitely like to see all the new buses introduced in to there fleet as some of there buses are now getting a bit old. Even there night service bus has to be given the thumbs up as I feel that it is a service that many people would be lost without. Overall I would say to anyone try these buses I am confident that you will delighted with the service.

**You can also pay online at for any of the services

**Further information~

Believe it or not there is still more information available.

0131 555 6363 is a 24hr line that will provide times and fares Email address for the bus to the airport Email address for normal buses

Head Office
Lothian Buses plc,
Annandale Street,

Lost property~ 0131 558 8858

Sightseeing tours~ 0131 220 0770

Main LRT website~

Hope you find this helpful and should you ever visit Edinburgh I hope you find the time to ride on one of these buses

© Robert Aka Marcellep 13/09/05

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Comments on this review

  • marcellep2 published 15/04/2008
    Fantastic review
  • MunchkinClaire published 03/05/2007
    As a user of the LRT buses I feel that all the main points have been covered here with honesty. With this information in hand I feel that I would be able to, as a tourist, work our which LRT services I needed and also (most importantly) how to get more information. Perhaps it should be updated though as I happen to know that fares have gone up and the Scottish Young Persons Travel Concession Card can now be used.
  • LaineyMc published 11/02/2006
    fantastic review, i couldnt agree with you any more if i tried - Lainey
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Product Information : Lothian Buses (LRT)

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Listed on Ciao since: 19/03/2001