Sunday 7 December 2014

Council check: SESTran

This week's local authority is SESTran, which takes care of transport for several authorities in South-East Scotland, including Edinburgh. How do they promote the bus routes in their region?

Where do the buses go?

There's a regional public transport map, but it has a disclaimer stating that it doesn't include routes that are wholly within one council area. SESTran suggests trying the local councils for local routes, but they're under the impression that SESTran is taking care of everything. It then suggests Traveline Scotland, on which you can search for all routes serving a particular area, but it is rather clunky and awkward to use. 3 out of 5.


Not provided. The best place for these is Traveline, which in Scotland is not as user-friendly as it is in the Midlands and South of England. 1 out of 5.


No information on single tickets or operators' own tickets. There is however a region-wide multi-operator and multi-modal ticket, the One-Ticket. No mention of Plusbus, which is available in Bathgate & Livingstone, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Kirkcaldy and Linlithgow. 2 out of 5.


Not comprehensive and leaves you scrambling around several other websites in order to find complete information. Not really good enough for the transport portal of the region containing Scotland's capital. SESTran scores 6 out of 15.


  1. SESTRAN is NOT a local authority, SESTRAN does not take care of transport in the authorities in South-East Scotland. Each council has FULL control over its all aspects of transport. SPT is a different kettle of fish and is the only one in Scotland like this, the rest have no real say.

    SESTran, deals with helping provide cross council projects and thats it. It does not deal with timetables, council routes, bus stops, school buses nothing just overseing BIG projects.

  2. Actully that map is out of date by three years, soon to be four!

  3. Thanks for the correction. The score stands though as a tourist or a local who is not familiar with public transport can't be expected to know which organisation does what. SESTran doesn't exactly make it clear what they are for and where their responsibility ends and the councils' starts. Also the map that you say is out of date is on the SESTran website, so yet another reason for their poor score to stand.

    The whole point of this series is to show such public bodies where they are doing well and where they are doing not so well in making it easy for people to use public transport. People who don't necessarily know their way around complicated local government structures.

  4. Ask anyone in the council areas which make up Sestran, and most will look clueless at you. Most local people have never heard of it either. Also the One ticket is a hidden gem which really needs to be promoted.

    A few projects which are being carried out:

    * Bus tracker system,
    this has been years in the planning and went live in the summer. Non Lothian buses details are only now being added to trackers around Edinburgh.

    * Park n rides around Edinburgh: mainly due to the fact its users are different council areas.

    * Southern orbital bus route
    Six years and still waiting!


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