Evening Telegraph

Xplore Dundee and Xplore More sold to Greenock-based firm McGill’s Buses

Bus operator Xplore Dundee has been sold to Greenock-based firm, McGill’s Buses.

National Express, which owns Xplore Dundee for bus travel and Xplore More for coach travel, has agreed to sell its Dundee operation in a deal subject to completion by the end of the year.

The business, based at a site on East Dock Street, employs 350 people and has a fleet of 120 buses.

McGill’s, owned by brothers Sandy and James Easdale, will be licenced to operate 850 buses and have 1,200 employees, making it the biggest independent bus operator in the UK.

James and Sandy Easdale.

Ralph Roberts, CEO of McGill’s Buses, said: “We are purchasing the shares of the company and all activities will carry on as normal. There are no immediate plans to change the branding of the buses.”

Managing Director of Xplore Dundee, Christine McGlasson, said: “We have enjoyed 23 years as part of the National Express Group and under McGill’s we can continue to recover and grow our business with another Scottish operator at the helm experiencing similar conditions and under the same authorities as our own.

“Xplore Dundee is a strong, resilient business with an excellent team of people within it, and I have no doubt we will continue in our mission to provide a top class public transport service for the people of this city.”

McGill’s Buses has grown rapidly during the past decade following its purchase of Arriva Scotland West in a landmark deal in March 2012.

McGill’s chairman James Easdale said: “The Xplore acquisition is a perfect fit for us. Whilst others are shying away from investment, we are always looking for new opportunities in both construction and transport.”