McGill's Buses Wins Four Awards At The UK Bus Awards

2 months ago Fri 1st Dec 2023

Colin Smith Engineer of the Year


McGill’s Group, the UK’s leading independent bus operator, has won a haul of coveted industry awards recognising its outstanding services, people and environmental credentials.

At the UK Bus Awards held in London this week, the group scooped four awards despite stiff competition from operators around the country.

In the Engineer of the Year category, Colin Smith was named as the Gold Winner. Colin led the introduction of electric buses and accompanying infrastructure project at McGill’s Johnstone Depot before heading up the ongoing transformation at Midland Bluebird depots in the central belt.

In the Top Express Route award, the Clyde Flyer (Largs to Glasgow service) was named as Silver Winner. Bucking industry trends, the Clyde Flyer has seen a remarkable increase in customer numbers since Covid, with weekend leisure travel now above 2019 levels which has necessitated the need for extra buses on busiest journeys. One of the most frequent long-distance interurban routes in Scotland, last year it was named one of the UK’s top 10 most scenic bus routes. The service has 99.9% reliability and is operated with a fleet of high-spec Mercedes Citaros.

McGill’s were also named as a Silver Winner in the Environmental Innovation category for the company’s Journey to Net Zero. One of the top three bus companies in the UK for fleet decarbonisation, through the support of owners Sandy and James Easdale, an investment totalling £55million has been made in electric buses and infrastructure. Recently completing seven million zero-emission miles, the McGill’s Group has the highest percentage of electric buses in its fleet in Scotland, with four depots now featuring electric infrastructure.

Finally, McGill’s was recognised as a Silver Winner in the Bus Operator of the Year (Shire category), with the judges recognising the continued growth of the business and turnaround being made at new acquisitions in Central Scotland and Dundee, as well as the company’s recovery in pandemic and the investment in electric buses for this region.


Alex Hornby, Group Managing Director at McGill’s, said:

"This is another momentous occasion for everyone at McGill’s as we celebrate winning four prestigious awards at the UK Bus Awards. It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team in providing outstanding services and embracing environmental sustainability.

"Colin Smith’s recognition as the Gold Winner for Engineer of the Year is well-deserved. His leadership in overseeing the technical side of electric innovation at the Johnstone Depot and then working on transformation at Midland Bluebird typifies his hard work ethic and commitment to our wider company values in sustainability and quality.

"The Clyde Flyer's Silver Win in the Top Express Route category reflects not only its remarkable increase in customer numbers but also our ability to adapt and excel even in challenging times. We're proud to see weekend leisure travel surpassing 2019 levels - and this will increase further as additional buses are added in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Our Journey to Net Zero is not just a business strategy but a commitment to environmental stewardship. Through the support of Sandy and James Easdale, our £55 million investment in electric buses showcases McGill’s dedication to being one of the top bus companies in the UK for fleet decarbonisation and we are thrilled this has been noticed within the wider industry.

"Being named a Silver Winner in the Bus Operator of the Year (Shire category) is a recognition of the progress we have made since the continued growth of the group through acquisition and business recovery. We are starting to see increased passenger numbers and improved customer satisfaction and that is down to the hard work the team has put in over that period - with more to come as we move forward.

"As we celebrate these wins, our thanks go to our colleagues, customers, stakeholders and suppliers for supporting McGill’s over the last year and continuing to help our journey towards sustainability, innovation, and providing exceptional service to the communities we serve."