First Bus reverses plan to axe all night buses after McGill's deal

First Bus will retain four out of its 11 night services while McGill's will operate five new routes.

Glasgow night buses to continue after First Bus and McGill’s deal struck First Bus

First Bus has reversed plans to cancel all of its night services in Glasgow after reaching an agreement with rival operator McGill’s.

The announcement comes just a week before First Glasgow was set to end all of its nightly routes in the city.

The firm has now teamed up with McGill’s to operate a smaller number of early-hours services.

First previously announced it would axe its 11 late-night bus routes from the end of July.

Following outcry that was delayed to August 20 but the transport company said on Monday it will operate four late bus routes in Glasgow while McGill’s will take on five.

First Glasgow announced in July that it would scrap its 11 night bus services.STV News

McGill’s, which already operates a number of daytime services across the city, confirmed that its services will launch on Friday, August 25.

Its buses will stop at a number of areas including Clydebank, Shawlands, Pollok, Paisley and Newton Mearns.

They will operate between 12.15am and 3.45am on Fridays and Saturdays with plans to add more days in the future.

First Bus meanwhile will drop its routes from 11 to four with its buses stopping at areas in the east including Tollcross, Cambuslang, Rutherglen and Motherwell.

Duncan Cameron, managing director for First Bus Scotland, said: “Following discussions with business owners and key stakeholders in the city, we are pleased to announce a new collaborative solution alongside McGill’s Group to continue offering a comprehensive night bus network in Glasgow.

“When we first announced the withdrawal of our night bus services, we highlighted the challenges we faced as a business. This solution allows us to continue to operate a night bus service in the face of the current driver shortage.

“It also highlights the importance of the Glasgow Bus Partnership in being agile and the benefits of operators working together to overcome challenges, providing the services needed by the people of Glasgow.

“We understand the need for a wider late-night public transport strategy in Glasgow. Our hope is we will now see action from stakeholders, politicians and other transport modes to support local businesses and provide a way forward for the city’s night-time economy.”

McGill's said it plans to add more night bus services in future.PA Media

Ralph Roberts, CEO of McGill’s Group, said: “Buses are vital to the success of Glasgow and we’ve been striving to find a solution that serves the night-time economy, residents and visitors.

“We’re delighted to be announcing an initial five night-time bus routes that will be run by McGill’s serving the city.

“McGill’s Group has been in discussions with Glasgow businesses to understand the issues they have been facing with transport and we have also deployed our management and staff overnight to the city centre to examine what measures Glasgow City Council could take on roads and streets to help buses deliver a better service for passengers.

“Our intention is to build our night-time services in future and work with the council and businesses to help achieve that.

“There will be a range of ticket options available on night-time services, including discounts for regular users and McGill’s ticket holders, and we will announce more details on that shortly.”

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: “This is really welcome news for the travelling public, late-night workers and Glasgow’s evening economy. I’m pleased two of our biggest bus operators have responded positively to the very real concerns around night bus services.

“Recent weeks have made clear the importance of late transport in Glasgow and with footfall in the evenings and at weekends now reported to be well ahead of pre-pandemic levels, this new network will give many Glaswegians the confidence that safe, regular and affordable options for getting home at night are available.

“The City Council will continue to work with all partners to ensure Glasgow has the transport system it needs. This is a significant step towards delivering that.”

Where will night buses stop at?

First Bus services

N2 (East) Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Renfield St) – Parkhead – Shettleston – Baillieston – Easterhouse.

N18 Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Union St) – Rutherglen – East Kilbride – Greenhills

N240 Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Renfield St) – Parkhead – Tollcross – Viewpark – Bellshill – Motherwell – Wishaw – Coltness – Cleland

N267 Sauchiehall Street – Central Station (Union St) – New Gorbals – Rutherglen – Cambuslang – Hamilton – Hillhouse

McGill’s night services

N3 city centre – Shawlands – Thornliebank – Nitshill – Pollok

N4 city centre – Shawlands – Eastwood – Newton Mearns

N6 city centre – Anniesland – Scotstoun – Clydebank

N38 city centre – Ibrox – Paisley

N60 city centre – Maryhill – Drumchapel

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