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Last updated : Nov 2009
Scotland Getting Around - Internal Travel
Scotland Internal Travel - Getting Around Scotland -


Edinburgh’s taxis are mainly black hackney cabs and can be safely hailed in the street. All are licensed and have meters. Taxi companies include City Cabs (telephone: (0131) 228 1211) and Central Radio Taxis (telephone: (0131) 229 2468). Rates are fairly expensive. A tip of 10 per cent is expected.

Public Transport

Traveline (telephone: (0870) 6082608), provides information on all bus, coach and train routes within Lothian. The office is open from Monday to Friday 08:30 hrs-17:00 hrs (telephone lines operate until 20:00 hrs). There is no light rail or tram system within the city and Edinburgh commuters rely on the frequent bus services.

Lothian Buses, 27 Hanover Street (telephone: (0131) 555 6363), provides bus services within the city and to outlying districts, as does First Edinburgh (telephone: (08708) 727271).

Fares range from 80 pence to £1.00 and night buses charge £2 and exact change is required. There are several passes allowing reduced fares.

A new One-Ticket covers travel on both bus and train throughout Edinburgh and the outlying areas. Tickets and Daysaver passes are available for purchase on the bus, although exact change is required. All other passes must be purchased at the Waverley Bridge Ticket Centre, Waverley Bridge (telephone: (0131) 555 6363), open daily 08:30-17:30 (summer) and 08:30-16:00 (winter).

The major rail provider for routes to and from the south is Great North East Railway – GNER (telephone: (0845) 722 5225), while Scotrail (telephone: (0845) 755 0033) operates within Scotland, as well as a London-Edinburgh link. National Rail Enquiries (telephone: (0845) 748 4950) provides 24-hour timetable and fare information for all train companies.

Edinburgh has two train stations – Waverley station (located in the heart of the city, at the East End of Princes Street) and Haymarket station (at the junction of Dalry Road and Haymarket, in the West End). Facilities at Waverley include a food mall, a newsagent and a pub.

Scotrail operates a train service from Glasgow to Edinburgh every 15 minutes (journey time about 50 minutes). Scotrail’s Caledonian Sleeper, between London (Euston) and Edinburgh, runs every night except Saturday (journey time about 6 hours and 45 minutes). Virgin Trains (telephone: (0845) 722 2333) operates a direct service between Manchester and Edinburgh, three times a day (journey time about 3 hours). GNER operates a direct half-hourly service between London (Kings Cross) and Edinburgh (journey time about 4 hours and 30 minutes).

Waverley station and Haymarket station are within walking distance of the Old Town and the New Town. The stations are also served by bus routes and taxis.

Strathclyde Passenger Transport (telephone: (0870) 608 2608, for the Traveline information hotline) is the passenger transport authority and manages the underground.

Glasgow is served by a 15-station underground system known as the ‘Clockwork Orange’, which runs in a six-mile loop through the city centre and the West End, every four-eight minutes, Monday-Saturday 06:30 hrs-23:20 hrs and Sunday 11:00 hrs-17:50 hrs.

The suburban commuter rail network, run by Scotrail (telephone: (0845) 755 0033) on behalf of the SPT (see above), is the largest in Britain outside of London. Services run between 06:30 hrs and 24:00 hrs, although different services vary, with later starts at the weekend. National Rail Enquiries (telephone: (08457) 484 950) provides 24-hour information on timetables and fares.


Little’s Chauffeur Drive (telephone: (0131) 334 2177; fax: (0141) 891 5766; e-mail: has a fleet of Daimlers, Mercedes, people carriers and Volvo limousines.

WL Sleigh Ltd (telephone: (0131) 337 3171; fax: (0131) 346 8335; e-mail: hires out Mercedes and people carriers.

Car Hire

Regulations vary from company to company.Drivers will require a valid driving licence to hire a car in the UK. In most cases, this can be a national driving licence, although an International Driving Permit may be preferred if the licence is not in English. Separate proof of address is usually required. A credit card is also needed. It is important for visitors to check what level of insurance is included in the price of car hire. In general, drivers have to be over 23 years of age to hire a car.

Avis (telephone: (0131) 337 6363 or (08700) 100 287) Hertz (telephone: (0131) 556 8311; or (0870) 846 0013) Arnold Clark Car Rental (telephone: (0131) 228 4747) .