Xplore outlines improvement plan

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.
Things haven’t been ‘tickety-boo’ in Dundee recently, but the operator has pledged improvements. RICHARD WALTER

Following the disruption of recent strike action, McGill’s-owned Xplore Dundee says it is excited to build a better future both as an employer and a local service provider. “This isn’t about words, it’s about actions,” the company said in a post online, adding: “Thanks for bearing with us over the last few weeks. It’s fair to say that it’s been difficult for us all but especially for you – our customers. We are sorry if you were caught up in any disruption. Now, we look forward to a better future as we focus on what we are here to do: the best possible job we can for the people of Dundee.”

Summarising its plans and commitments, the operator pledged six newer, dedicated double-deck buses introduced on its route 1 to give higher and more consistent standards as well as more seats on what is a busy route. It also promises to reduce emissions with the newer buses on route 1 along with a further two, and to offer a more consistent approach to how it plans vehicle allocations for double- and single-deck buses.

“We’ll begin to progress improvements to our shop at Commercial Street in the city centre to make buying tickets and getting information as easy as possible,” the firm continues, adding that it will be improving its ‘Fly’ coach service to Edinburgh Airport too, as well as making a commitment to enhanced information at busy stops and on buses, with paper maps and timetables more widely distributed.

A network development plan will be progressed, and step-by-step increases to frequencies considered in an attempt to drive more people to use the bus, whilst drivers are being offered a long-term wage deal that McGill’s says will pay up to £31,000 a year to drivers from 2024, coupled with continued improvements to the working environment, alongside the ongoing roll-out of the new McGill’s house style of local identity, in line with its recently-acquired Midland Bluebird and Eastern Scottish operations.