Glasgow night-time economy leaders back McGill’s late bus services

Sandy Easdale, Donald MacLeod MBE & James Easdale with staff from The Garage nightclub

GLASGOW’S night-time economy champions said a big thank you to McGill’s Buses bosses as the new late buses are heralded as a huge boost for Glasgow’s night-time economy.

McGill’s owners, billionaire brothers Sandy and James Easdale met with legendary nightclub owner Donald MacLeod and his young staff who will now have a way to get home in the early hours.

Sandy Easdale joked: “And they won’t have to drive the buses themselves as somebody suggested a few weeks ago! We’ll do all the driving.”

Two weekends of night buses have now been operated by McGill’s, with passenger numbers at ‘above expected’ levels on the services.

Now, Glasgow leisure and hospitality bosses have met with McGill’s Group to discuss the services and provide their backing to further routes and more frequent services being added in the future.

Donald MacLeod MBE, owner of The Garage and Cathouse nightclubs in Glasgow, said it was vital that McGill’s Group had stepped up and enabled workers and revellers to access the city centre on public transport.

Mr MacLeod said: “It felt like Glasgow’s hospitality sector was staring into the abyss when it was announced night-time bus services were being pulled. Coupled with trains and a subway system that do not run past midnight and the council’s Low Emission Zone to prevent many cars entering the city centre, it was a real concern how workers and revellers were going to get home at night.

“We’ve been delighted with the services that McGill’s has put on and also the engagement we have had with company bosses.

“The feedback we have received from staff and customers about the McGill’s services has been good and I was pleased to meet with Sandy and James Easdale to consider if additional services could be added in future.

“We want to see Glasgow prosper and that can only happen with a good transport network. McGill’s has stepped up to the plate in recent weeks and it has been a shot in the arm to pubs, clubs and restaurants. It is no secret that the city’s night-time economy has been under severe post-pandemic economic stress, suffering massive drops in footfall, exacerbated by the lack of public transport and the introduction of the brutal LEZ.

“There have been fanciful claims by Glasgow City Council about increased footfall in the city centre – that will only become a reality if companies such as McGill’s keep doing what they’re doing. Long may it continue and hopefully the journey to full recovery for Glasgow’s struggling night-time economy is just around the corner.”

McGill’s chairman James Easdale said: “It was great to meet Donald who is a legend of the Glasgow night-time economy and get his view on night buses and the city centre more generally.

“McGill’s wants to play a part in helping workers and those coming to enjoy Glasgow’s bars, clubs and food outlets. The passenger numbers we have had across two weekends have been good and that supports our vision that there was a viable service that we could provide.”

Brother Sandy Easdale added: “We have invested heavily in both services and our vehicle fleet of electric zero-emission buses and it is proving popular so far. Donald is obviously keen for us to do even more and I have committed to seeing what we can achieve in terms of increased night services and new routes. By engaging with businesses such as Donald’s, my hope is that we can collectively drive forward Glasgow’s city centre economy which needs a major boost.”

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