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Lothian Buses: Upgrading services

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 Lothian Buses Engineering Workshop-  Longstone Depot in Edinburgh

A £7 million project to create new engineering facilities for Lothian Buses is currently underway.

The Longstone Garage Engineering Facilities project is taking place at the Longstone Depot in Edinburgh and comprises the construction of new garage workshop pits, the installation of fuel and wash facilities, vosa test lanes and stores. In addition, offices, training rooms and engineering welfare facilities will also be included on the site.

Work began on the site in May 2012 after planning permission for the project was granted in February 2011. The project is being implemented by Lothian Buses to bring its old 1940s depot up to current standards in order to bring the facility in line with key services.

Lothian Buses is one of the most modern bus fleets in the UK and the work on the new engineering facility compliments a ten year modernisation scheme which has recently taken place across all Lothian Buses depots.

Luddon Construction is the main contractor on the Longstone Garage Engineering Facilities project, whilst leading chartered surveyors Graham + Sibbald is providing all architectural services.

Prior to work taking place on the project the site previously housed a car park which was used by Lothian Buses’ employees. The car park is now being relocated.

Construction work on the project comprises the erection of a 50,000 sq ft single-storey main garage, with two-storey ancillary stores and a training suite. The building is being built using a steel portal frame with concrete floors and roof and insulated cladding and block walls.

The site will undergo a complete internal fit-out, including mechanical and electrical works and will include staff washrooms, a shower, a canteen and locker and drying room facilities. In addition, some landscaping work will also take place on the project and will concentrate on the areas around the site’s perimeter road. A sound attenuation gabion basket wall will also be installed.

The site has been designed to achieve current building regulations Section 6 and includes high efficiency lighting, heating and ventilation systems.

Lothian Buses Managing Director, Ian Craig, said:

“The company has been delighted to commit the substantial capital investment to upgrade Longstone Depot, which will complete a longstanding programme to improve our facilities throughout our portfolio. We have been delighted with the professional service offered by Graham + Sibbald Chartered Surveyors throughout various projects undertaken over the years.”

Lothian Buses currently operates over 70 services in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas of Midlothian and East Lothian. Lothian Buses is the UK’s largest publicly owned bus operator – with The City of Edinburgh Council being a major shareholder – and has over 2000 employees, with three-quarters of its staff employed as drivers.

 Lothian Buses Engineering Workshop-  Longstone Depot in Edinburgh

The transport operator has a fleet of 650 vehicles and has been providing much needed transport services since January 2000. The company has recently invested in improving its buses and currently has a low-floor easy-access fleet of buses with an average age of 4.9 years.

In addition, Lothian Buses has over 30 open-top buses covering its Edinburgh Bus Tours service and 14 specially branded low-floor AIRLINK vehicles for use on the dedicated Airport Express service.

Lothian Buses’ Longstone Garage Engineering Facilities project is currently on programme and is scheduled to reach completion in April 2013.

Blake Group

Blake Group is one of the UK’s leading multi-discipline steel fabricators and tank manufacturers working on infrastructure, regeneration and major new build construction projects for the both the public and private sectors. The firm provides bespoke steel products to projects that range from ports, airports and railways to hospitals, housing and now  even the new Forth Bridge Crossing.

Established in 1938 by James Blake, this fourth generation family business has gone from strength to strength to a key employer in East Scotland today. From its early beginnings as a blacksmiths located by the Port of Leith in Edinburgh, the business has evolved to an industry leader today with sites across East Central Scotland.

Blake Group’s client list spans some of the biggest names in oil and gas, engineering, construction and utilities including Barratt, Miller Group, BAA, Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Northumbrian Water, Total and Shell.

Major projects the firm has supplied to include Heathrow T5, Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports, Carlisle Rail Hub, Northumbrian Water’s tank replacement programme, Dynamic Earth, and EuroCentral. The firm was also responsible for manufacturing the UK’s highest steel bunded fuel tank at the Snowdonia Visitor Centre at the summmit of Snowdon.

Blake Group’s Environmental Tank Division has been supplying Lothian Buses with all their storage tank requirements for decades. This is due to the firms expert position advising Lothian Buses on the specifications required to ensure compliance with the Oil Storage Regulations. Blake Group has been instrumental in introducing industry standards and regulations through its membership of BSI, APEA, OFTEC and the Energy Institute.

As part of a major multi-million pound contract, Blake Group is delighted to have been awarded the supply and installation of the storage tanks which included two 140,000 Litre diesel bunded tanks, additional oil tanks and an Ad Blue tank.

For 75 years, Blake Group has set industry benchmarks through thought-leadership, quality craftsmanship and superior customer service. As the first company in the UK to be awarded an OFCERT Licence by OFTEC to manufacture both the EA and SEPA’s recommended oil tank the OFS T200, the Environmental Tank Division advises industry leaders on oil storage regulations and tank design. Additionally, year on year the Fabrications Division wins industry awards for service and quality, such accolades all adding to the firms specialist status leading industry with engineering excellence.

Blake Group wishes Lothian Buses every success continuing to be the No 1 bus company in the UK.

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