McGill’s reports increased profits while taking swipe at council’s pro-car policies

McGill’s Buses has reported a sharp increase in pre-tax profit for 2018 which it put down to reducing its cost base by around 27 per cent in the face of a market that is still in decline. The company which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arranglen which is controlled by the Easdale family, reported a pre-tax profit of £1,398,473, (2017: £384,056) on a slightly reduced turnover of £37,992,716 (2017: 30,240).

“Our profits are up thanks to a realignment of our business and skilful management of our resources and a 27 per cent decline in our administration charges,” says McGill’s chairman James Easdale. “My brother and fellow shareholder Sandy and our MD, Ralph Roberts, have worked extremely hard to make this business more efficient and profitable.

“The year saw a continuation of passenger decline that has prevailed in the industry since 2015. The decline was driven by low retail activity brought on by the decline of the high street.”

Ralph Roberts adds: “Government policy at national and local level favours the car and train with the bulk of infrastructure investment going to these two modes. Buses deliver 74 per cent of public transport journeys yet this mode receives peppercorn levels of infrastructure investment.

“The bulk of our business revenues are earned in the local authority area which has the highest car ownership in Scotland – Renfrewshire – so it is unsurprising that this local authority chooses this polluting mode over green public transport when looking at where they spend their budget. Road traffic is up 29 per cent since 1990 and this is the inevitable conclusion of these car-centric policies.”

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