TRANS­PORT Bus void is quickly filled McGill’s take over routes

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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