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Lothian Buses Headquarters and Central Depot

A cavernous building with a fine red-brick facade on Annandale Street in the Broughton district of Edinburgh, Lothian Buses Headquarters and Central Depot lies a half-mile (1 km) northeast of the city centre. Built as the Industrial Hall for the Edinburgh Exhibition Association to house an industrial exhibition in 1922, this became the unlikely location for the ceremony which formalised the union of the established Church of Scotland with the United Free Church of Scotland in 1929. The building was converted to become a bus garage in 1934. Its principal feature remains its immense glass dome. The original building has been extended to the south. Today it is home to around a third of Lothian's fleet of buses (222 vehicles in 2011) and includes training, repair and fueling facilities, together with administrative offices and a bus-wash.

Lothian Buses is the only municipally-owned bus company in Britain and is highly-regarded for its exceptional service and attention to detail. It was created as Edinburgh Corporation Tramways Department in 1919, having taken over the Edinburgh Street Tramways Company (founded in 1871) which ran cable-cars on the streets of the capital. In 1975 responsibility passed to Lothian Regional Council. Following bus deregulation the company became Lothian Regional Transport Plc, which is now owned by the City of Edinburgh Council and the neighbouring authorities (West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian). Today the company operates more than fifty routes serving Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian, with a fleet of more than 600 buses. It has a policy of regularly renewing vehicles to maintain a modern comfortable fleet, operating to the best environmental standards. The company regularly wins awards for its service and assists bus preservation groups with the restoration of historic vehicles.

The company's other depots are located at Longstone and Seafield.


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