First sells Scottish border services to West Coast Motors

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FirstGroup’s First Scotland East/First Borders has agreed in principle to sell its operations in the Scottish Borders to West Coast Motors.

On completion of the sale, which is expected to conclude on March 25, the Galashiels depot, Peebles, Hawick and Kelso outstations, and all employees, will transfer to West Coast Motors.

Paul McGowan, Managing Director of First Scotland East, said: “Despite the focus on services and the hard work of everyone across our business, unfortunately the introduction of the Borders Railway in 2015 has impacted demand for bus travel and our services our becoming increasingly unsustainable.

“I’m pleased we have an agreement in principle to sell the operations to West Coast Motors, a reliable and well established transport company. I’m confident its experience operating in rural areas will be of great benefit to the business.

“The proposed sale does not, in any way, reflect the commitment of our employees in the area who have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible service to local communities. I’d like to thank them for their hard work and loyalty over the years. We will be fully supporting them throughout this process.

“We’re proud to serve the Borders community and would like to thank passengers for travelling with First Scotland East over the years. I can assure our customers that we will continue to run services as normal throughout the proposed transition.”

West Coast Motors is the trading name of Craig Cambletown and has about 100 vehicles at various coast locations. In addition, it owns Glasgow Citybus with over 70 more buses on the Craig licence.

It also owns Fairline Coaches (of Glasgow) with 18 vehicles, and Perrymans of Berwick-upon-Tweed was purchased last year, operating mainly north of the border with over 50 buses.