A bus company is set to slash services in a bid to ‘protect jobs’ amid the coronavirus crisis.
McGill’s Buses – which operates more than 110 routes throughout the west of Scotland – has announced it will be operating emergency timetables from Monday.
In a statement, the company said it had seen a “significant reduction in usage of bus services”.
With commuters working from home, older people isolating and schools closing, bosses said there is now “much less demand” for the high-frequency service it is currently providing.
Almost all services are expected to continue, but will be at half their normal frequency.
The company said: “Not only do we want to provide a service for those who need to travel during this time, we want to protect the jobs of our employees.
“Over 1000 people are dependant on McGill’s for their job and these changes are designed to achieve both of those aims.”
The new timetables will be available online and on buses from 3pm on Friday, and from 12pm on Sunday on the company’s app.
Lothian Buses also intends to reduce services on Monday.
Commercial director Nigel Serafini said: “These are extraordinary circumstances we are operating in and teams from across our business are working tirelessly to put plans in place as to how best to deal with this fast-changing situation.
“While the priority of maintaining services is of paramount importance, as the situation develops, we now need to factor in the impact on staffing levels being experienced.
“By introducing a reduced service from Monday, we are aiming to ensure we can continue to provide vital links across the city for those who rely on our services.
“We would encourage customers to plan their journeys in advance using our mobile app or website and follow our social media channels for updates.”
From Sunday, First Bus intends to introduce alterations to its services to the University of Aberdeen.
On Monday, the company will also operate revised services in Glasgow.
Xplore Dundee – which is a subsidiary of National Express – was scheduled to make changes to its service in April, but has submitted a request to the Traffic Commissioner for a postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesperson said: “In the long-term, once the present situation eases, we do still intend to introduce these changes eventually.
“We are not yet in a position to put a date on that, but updates will be provided in due course.”
On Thursday, the company stated that normal timetables remain in “effect for now”.