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Bus drivers protest against tram subsidies

Workers from Edinburgh’s main bus company gathered outside the city council chambers yesterday to protest against proposals to use profits to subsidise the capital’s trams project.

Dozens of drivers from Lothian buses picketed the City Chambers in Waverley Court as councillors met to discuss the future of the tram scheme.

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Unite, the union representing the drivers, warned there could be “months, if not years” of industrial action if the bus firm’s profits are redirected to fund the construction of the tram network. They argue such a move would cost drivers their jobs.

Rab Fraser, chairman of the Lothian Buses branch of Unite, said: “We are extremely concerned about plans to use Lothian Buses’ profits to subsidise the tram, particularly when no-one seems to know where and when the first tram will start running, or how much it is going to cost.”

Earlier this week, it emerged that the first phase of the scheme will now stop short of Leith Walk, its original destination, and is not expected to be profitable for the first three years.

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