FirstGroup sells First Bus Scotland East to McGill’s

FirstGroup announced that First Bus has agreed to sell its First Scotland East business and all its routes in the area to McGill’s Group.

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.

First Bus will retain a presence in Scotland with its businesses in Aberdeen and Greater Glasgow.

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

“We’re pleased that McGill’s, who are a trusted Scottish bus operator brand, will take the Scotland East business forward and wish them every success.

“We will continue to operate our services as usual until the handover date, working closely with McGill’s and with our local authority partners, and continuing our commitment to our customers through the service we offer them.”

McGill’s Bus Group chairman James Easdale said: “Everyone at McGill’s Group is excited about welcoming Scotland East into our stable and the opportunities that lie ahead.

“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.”

McGill’s Bus Group CEO Ralph Roberts said: “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.

“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.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.