McGill’s has taken delivery of 26 new ADL Enviro200s for its Glasgow and west of Scotland services in an investment worth £4.75million. The latest fleet arrivals take McGill’s capital investment in vehicles over the past five years to almost £24million.
The new buses, which have free onboard wi-fi and USB charging sockets at every seat, will be deployed on the X23/23 Erskine – Glasgow route and service 26 Glenburn/Nethercraigs to Paisley.
The Euro 6 diesel-powered E200s will meet the Glasgow Low Emission Zone which came into effect in the city centre on 31 December.
“This is a milestone investment for McGill’s which benefits the environment, our passengers and in turn, serves the wider economy,” says McGill’s CEO Ralph Roberts. “We are delighted to be purchasing these buses from Scottish manufacturer Alexander Dennis which feature the latest engine and passenger technology. Some campaigners claim that bus operators are not doing enough to tackle air pollution but this investment in 26 new vehicles brings our average bus age down to under seven years old – the youngest large private fleet in Scotland – and demonstrates that we’re going the extra mile and taking a long-term approach to our operations.
“Funding for the new fleet has been found privately with no public subsidies provided.”
McGill’s co-owner Sandy Easdale adds: “We’ve made more than £30million of investment in our operations over the past five years, with around £24million focused on new fleet and nearly £7million of infrastructure investment including ticket machines, real-time tracking, mobile and contactless ticketing and smart card systems.
“Most politicians and policymakers agree that it is vital that we encourage the public to reduce their car journeys and cut congestion in the process. However, ditching the car only becomes an appealing prospect to people when we are investing in state-of-the-art buses such as those we are now unveiling.
“We’ve recently seen the Scottish Government deliver a swingeing cut to the latest payment to operators to deliver its free concessionary travel scheme. This is simply because they do not have the budget to fund what they believe to be a vote winner and instead transfer the cost on to operators.
“We cannot pass this cut onto our hard-working staff or our fuel suppliers. Instead, we run the risk of less profitable routes not continuing or future investment in new vehicles being curtailed. The money we have lost would pay for at least one or two of these new buses so we have to think carefully about our approach moving forward.”