McGill’s steps in after Henderson closes

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Henderson Travel employed around 120 people
Henderson Travel employed around 120 people

Henderson Travel called to Public Inquiry to take place on November 17

McGill’s Bus Services of Greenock stepped in last Friday (October 31) to cover Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) contracted services previously operated by Henderson Travel after the Hamilton-based operator ceased trading.  Around 120 people were employed.

A SPT spokesperson told CBW: “Due to Hendersons Travel Limited inability to guarantee delivery of SPT contracted bus service, SPT has suspended these contracts. These services will now be delivered by McGill’s Buses, with the exception of the service 13 (Hamilton – Strathaven – East Kilbride), which will be operated by Whitelaw’s Coaches.” Whitelaw’s, already the provider of route 13 during the day, is now additionally covering evening and Sunday services.

Henderson Travel operated door-to-door Mybus, local and school services on behalf of SPT in Glasgow, Hamilton, East Kilbride, Douglas, Uplawmoor, Strathaven, Rutherglen, Airdrie, Cumbernauld, Lesmahagow, Coatbridge, Kirkintilloch, Cambuslang, Kilsyth, Newton Mearns and Barrhead. Service 13 runs between Hamilton and East Kilbride.

SPT says that McGill’s is covering all 20 of the contracts previously operated by Henderson’s on a short term basis. McGill’s quotes 13 contracts encompassing 41 groups of services. 27 SPT-owned minibuses previously operated by Henderson Travel are being operated from the defunct business’ Whistleberry Park, Hamilton base and a deal has been agreed with the landlord of the site allowing operations to continue.

“I am pleased with the positive outcome of today’s meetings with staff and with the owner of the Blantyre site,” said Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGill’s on Friday. “For staff, it means their jobs are secure, and they can continue to work from their local depot. As well as the offer of employment, McGill’s has decided to pick up the bill for unpaid wages to all staff, who discovered on Thursday that, not only were that they were out of a job, but that they had not been paid their salary for the previous fortnight’s work.

“For customers, it means an end to any uncertainty over how they are going to get to work, school or college. McGill’s will honour all valid Henderson Travel multi-journey tickets and all other fares will remain the same.

“With Christmas just over eight weeks to go, we fully understand the increased financial pressures every household experiences at this time of year and McGill’s is pleased to have played a pivotal role in turning this week’s unfortunate events into a positive outcome for staff and for passengers.”

Henderson Travel Ltd with an O-licence (No PM1126151) for 40 vehicles has been called to an Edinburgh Public Inquiry (PI) by Scottish Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken due to take place on November 17. Called to the same PI are John Collison Henderson and David Collison Henderson trading as Henderson Travel (O-licence No PM0001018 for 40 vehicles).

A company check for Henderson Travel Ltd lists no current directors. David Henderson resigned in June 2013 while John Henderson resigned on August 26, 2014. Checking the DVSA (Vehicle Operator Services Agency) website for Henderson Travel Ltd’s O-licence and a Mark Ready is listed as the sole director. He’s also named in ‘Notice and Proceedings’ in relation to the forthcoming PI.

DVSA lists Mark as a director of four additional companies – Curdridge, Southampton-based Brijan Tours Ltd; Barnsley-based Globe Holidays Ltd and Rosa Holdings Ltd trading as Globe Coaches; and Guideissue Ltd trading as Bakers Coaches of Biddulph where he’s listed as the sole director.  Mark Raymond Ready is also a director of Tates Travel Group, Barnsley.

A company search shows that Henderson Travel Ltd is 100% owned by Bakerbus Ltd, itself 100% owned by Mark Ready.