McGill's to close Eastern Scottish

Just 53 weeks after its purchase from FirstGroup, McGill's has announced that it is to shut down all bus services running from its Livingston depot.

The garage has an allocation of almost 50 buses for local service work, but also houses the dozen or so strong opentop fleet used by the Bright Bus Tours operation in Edinburgh, alongside a small number of Flixbus-liveried coaches.

A statement from the company's CEO Ralph Roberts said: “We were fully aware of the challenges that existed for the business in West Lothian when we took over late last year and throughout that period, we have strived to make changes that might place the operation onto an even keel in the medium to long-term.

“However, despite investing around £4.5m in Eastern Scottish operations, we have now come to the conclusion that the ongoing losses are simply unsustainable”.

During the First era, Livingston depot had been the subject of intense competition by Lothian Buses' subsidiary Lothian Country. That operation has now been whittled down to three routes linking the area with Edinburgh seven days a week, in contrast to Eastern Scottish, which withdrew all Sunday services in May, alongside some early morning and evening journeys.

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