TRANSPORT Bus void is quickly filled McGill’s take over routes
A lifeline bus service linking Cambuslang with East Kilbride has been secured.
The 172 service had looked under threat when its operator, Henderson’s Travel, went into administration last week.
But Greenock-based McGill’s Buses has stepped in to take over all 20 of Henderson’s Strathclyde Passenger Transport-subsidised routes.
They will also take over the running of the 165 linking Cairns with Rutherglen Main Street.
However, it is believed the number seven service between Rutherglen and Fernhill is a commercial route and will not be taken on.
Travellers were left bemused last Thursday when the 172 failed to arrive as scheduled.
Some passengers were
left stranded in East Kilbride after some services ran in the morning, but no return bus came to take them back to Cambuslang.
Jeanette Mason (48) from Drumsagard, had travelled to the new town on the 172, but had to get an 18 back.
She said: “Apparently there were people on the bus and the driver was just told to go back to the garage.
“I was waiting in East Kilbride and the bus never turned up.
“It wasn’t so bad for me, I was able to get an 18 and make my way from there, but there were other passengers waiting who were a bit older.
“There are a lot of pensioners who use the 172.”
The 172 has previously been under threat several times, most recently this year when SPT had to step in to subsidise the service when Henderson’s said it was no longer commercially viable.
Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGill’s, said the move would secure jobs at Henderson’s Blantyre base and said McGill’s would pick up the bill for unpaid wages after staff found out on Thursday they had not been paid for the previous fortnights work.
He added: “For customers, it means an end to any uncertainty over how they are going to get to work, school or college. McGill’s will honour all valid Henderson Travel multi-journey tickets and all other fares will remain the same.
“With Christmas just over eight weeks away, we fully understand the increased financial pressures every household experiences at this time of year and McGill’s is pleased to have played a pivotal role in turning this week’s unfortunate events into a positive outcome for staff and for passengers.”
Rutherglen MSP, James Kelly, said: “I welcome the prompt action by SPT who ensured that McGill’s picked up the 172 service as a result of issues surrounding Henderson’s.
“This is an important service used by many pensioners in Halfway and Cambuslang providing a vital link to East Kilbride. It is important that the longer term operation of the service is resolved for the benefit of the passengers.”
Taking over McGill’s will now run the 172 and 165 services in Cambuslang