McGill’s Buses has celebrated 20 years of leading the way for passengers in Inverclyde and pledged to keep enhancing their service for decades to come.
To mark the milestone, an open day was held at the firm’s Greenock depot on Saturday and was attended by visitors near and far.
Among the attractions were behind the scenes tours of the depot as well as open top and vintage bus trips.
There was also a chance to sample the future of bus transport aboard an electric-powered McGill’s bus ahead of the new fleet entering service in the autumn.
For owners Sandy and James Easdale, the event was a fitting way to mark McGill’s progress from a small operator to becoming the UK’s largest independent bus company. McGill’s Inverclyde operation started at the beginning of the Greenock Fair in 2001.
James Easdale, chairman of McGill’s, said:
“McGill’s has expanded rapidly over the past 20 years and we’re excited about the future of the business. A key foundation of our success has been to continually invest in new buses, infrastructure and in our people. This has led to Inverclyde being home to the UK’s largest independent bus company and as seen with our recent purchase of Xplore Dundee, we see no reason why McGill’s can’t keep growing for decades to come.”
Sandy Easdale said:
“The recent investment of £32.5million in 68 electric vehicles, all of which are due to arrive before COP26 in Glasgow in November, is testament to the bright future we see for McGill’s. We think electric vehicles, which deliver a smooth and whisper-quiet journey, will convince more people to leave their cars at home.
“Together, McGill’s leadership and staff have helped James and I build a company over the past two decades which we’re very proud of.”
Also attending the open day were Ralph Roberts, CEO of McGill’s, and one of the company’s longest serving employees, driver Donald McDonald.
Ralph pictured above said:
“It was brilliant to see so many people attend the open day and enjoy a behind the scenes look at how McGill’s has been built up in Inverclyde over the past 20 years.
“The last 18 months has been testing for all of us but we are celebrating this milestone as normality is starting to return. I pay tribute to our staff who have been wonderful at keeping the wheels on the road during the pandemic and we can’t wait for the new electric fleet to arrive after the brilliant feedback we received from electric journeys we provided this weekend.”
Donald McDonald said:
“The transformation of the company since I first started has been massive. There was a small team of us servicing a few routes in Inverclyde back in the early 2000s but Sandy and James came along and put the money in to invest in low-floor buses which attracted more and more passengers.
"They’ve kept going with cutting edge depot technology and vehicles including the electric fleet soon to enter service. This period at McGill’s has flown by and I’ve enjoyed each moment of it.”