McGill's Buses announce takeover of First Bus East in expansion plans

The sale included all First Bus depots in Livingston, Larbert, Bannockburn and Balfron as well as Bright Bus Tours in Edinburgh.

McGill’s Buses to take over First Bus Scotland East operation in Edinburgh, Stirling and Falkirk Supplied

McGill’s Buses has taken over the Scotland East operations of First Bus – including open-top tours in Edinburgh.

The sale, which will complete later in September, includes all First Bus depots in Livingston, Larbert, Bannockburn and Balfron, as well as the Edinburgh open-top bus operation Bright Bus Tours.

It also includes all buses which currently operate in the region and approximately 550 staff, reducing First to operating in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

“This sale is part of a strategic refocusing of our Scottish businesses with significant investment in zero emission buses in Glasgow and Aberdeen,” said Duncan Cameron, managing director of First Bus Scotland.

McGill’s, which currently operates in Inverclyde, Glasgow and Renfrewshire, recently also took over Xplore Dundee from National Express and partnered with coach operator FlixBus for longer distance routes.

East services set to be impacted. First Bus

First said its “strong presence” in the country will move forward with a focus on driving “passenger recovery and growth across both networks” in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We firmly believe that we can combine the advantages of the McGill’s Group with unique local transport brands and we will be announcing further details on that post-completion,” said CEO of McGill’s, Ralph Roberts.

He added: “We would like to welcome all First Scotland East employees into the McGill’s family.

“In the weeks and months ahead, we will be engaging with our new colleagues for feedback and also listening to the views of local stakeholders as we seek to deliver the best bus service possible.”

James Easdale, chairman of McGill’s Bus Group, said: “Our team are passionate about using our expertise to build the business in the years ahead so we can retain and attract new passengers across the region.

“We’re pleased the opportunity has arisen to acquire the business and we appreciate the efforts of First Bus towards ensuring a smooth transition.”

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