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Row over Edinburgh Airport shuttle service

15.09.07

Lothian Buses is to be reported to Scotland's Traffic Commissioner over claims its airport shuttle service - the minibus service that transfers passengers between Edinburgh Airport and the city centre - is muscling in on the city's taxi trade.

The 'Edinburgh Shuttle' was set up by Lothian Buses, majority owned by the city's council, last December. But taxi drivers have hit out at the shuttle buses for offering trips between destinations within the city as well, after a memo was issued to drivers telling of a new £5 single fare available to passengers for journeys within the city centre.

A spokesman for Lothian Buses said it was operating within the law. He said that it has a statutory duty to have a fare structure in place because the shuttles are registered bus services. Adding that, although customers are not allowed to pre-book journeys within the city, they are allowed to travel on the shuttle service if they want to because they are registered public buses.

But Jim Muldoon, the Edinburgh representative of the Scottish Taxi Federation, said: 'Our view is they are operating illegally - it is effectively a private hire operation. This notice to staff shows they are going beyond the city centre to airport agreement.'

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