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First Bus warns of service cuts in West Lothian as staff sickness soars

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First Bus has warned of reduced bus services across West Lothian as timetables are cut due to staff shortages.The company said the service changes are the result of increased sickness levels and absence due to the current wave of Omicron cases.It said would try to “minimise disruption” and would be reviewing the situation on an ongoing basis.

When absence levels improve, the company would work to reinstate more services as a matter of urgency.A total of 11 routes have been effected, including the X22 between Whitburn and Edinburgh which will see a Sunday service introduced, but with An hourly shuttle service will additionally operate during the day on Mondays to Saturdays to maintain links between Shotts and Whitburn via Harthill and to connect with main service at Whitburn for onward travel to/from Livingston and Edinburgh.The 21 between Whitburn and Livingston will also run as a Sunday service, as will the Edinburgh services X24, X25 and the 26/26A, with additional early morning journeys will operate on Mondays to Saturday.Duncan Cameron, Interim Managing Director for First Bus in Scotland said: “Along with many other organisations up and down the country, we are experiencing a higher-than-normal level of staff sickness and absence due to the current wave of Omicron cases.

The safety of our staff and customers will always be our number one priority.“As a result, we are having to introduce a temporary reduced timetable across our First Midland and First West Lothian networks from January 10th and we would urge all customers to check the website for the latest information before travelling.“We are doing everything we can to minimise disruption to services and inconvenience to our customers and our teams are working extra

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