Major west of Scotland bus operator McGill’s will ‘strive further’ to further improve punctuality on its routes, the firm said today.

The company made the pledge following a fine levied by the Senior Traffic Commissioner, for £75,000. It follows similar fines levied by the commissioner for bus companies including First Aberdeen and Xplore Dundee earlier this year.

McGill’s Buses said they were heartened to receive praise from stakeholders including Bus Users Scotland, DVSA and the Senior Traffic Commissioner but recognised that they must do more to overcome congestion and ensure services run on time.

Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGill’s Buses, said: “Following the review from the Traffic Commissioner, we accept the outcome of this process which was detailed and fair in its full judgment.

“A number of parties, including passenger body Bus Users Scotland, the DVSA and the Traffic Commissioner, confirmed their trust in McGill’s as an operator and praised how we dealt with major disruption and how we kept customers informed and recognised our significant investment record.

“That said, we recognise that a number of our services have experienced issues with punctuality over the last 12 months and we will strive further to improve the situation in the months to come.

“Congestion and roadworks continues to be a major problem for all bus operators across Scotland and this has had an impact on passenger numbers which have dropped across the board over the past decade.

“However, even when our punctuality rate has dipped, we are still achieving performance which outstrips most UK rail companies – including the main rail operator in Scotland.

“As a bus operator, we need to factor in the problems we face on the road network and evolve our business accordingly. However, we also need help from local authorities to ensure the issues do not discourage investment in the vital services we provide.”

The fine, which is due for payment within 28 days, goes to the Scottish Government.

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