Arriva Scotland West

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Arriva Scotland West
M110RMS is an East Lancs MaxCi bodied Scania N113CRL in Glasgow.
Parent Arriva
Founded 1997
Defunct 2012
Headquarters Inchinnan, Scotland, UK
Service area Renfrewshire & Glasgow
Service type Bus
Hubs Johnstone, Inchinnan
Operator Arriva Group

Arriva Scotland West Ltd was a bus operating subsidiary of Arriva based in Inchinnan, near Paisley, Scotland, trading simply as Arriva and was the group's sole operation in Scotland. It was formed in 1997 as a rebranding of the former Clydeside 2000 company. In December 2011 it was announced that Arriva had agreed to sell the company to independent operator McGill's Bus Services. All of Arriva Scotland West's operations ceased on Monday 26 March 2012.


The Arriva brand first appeared in west central Scotland in 1997 when the Cowie Group re-branded following its acquisition of British Bus Holdings plc. Prior to that the company was known as Clydeside Buses Ltd, trading as Clydeside.

Clydeside was created as Clydeside Scottish in 1985 from the northern operations of Western SMT to prepare the state-owned parent company, the Scottish Bus Group, for deregulation of the bus industry and eventual privatisation. At the time, Clydeside's operating area was much larger, covering Inverclyde (including the towns of Gourock and Greenock), the Isle of Bute and much of the south side of Glasgow. Clydeside was re-merged with Western Scottish (Western SMT's successor company) in 1989 in an attempt to make it more financially viable. However, on the privatisation of Western Scottish the Clydeside operations were sold to management and employees as Clydeside 2000 plc. Luton & District also took a 23% stake in the new company. Clydeside began rationalising some of its operations, and depots at Largs, Paisley and Thornliebank were closed, the latter as a result of a reduction in operations within Glasgow.[1]

British Bus purchased the company in 1994, having just completed the take over of shareholder Luton & District, and the new parent company began investing heavily in the ageing fleet. A more vibrant red, white and yellow livery was introduced, and new "Flagship" routes were created to raise quality levels.[1]

The main competitor in Greenock, Ashton Coaches, was purchased along with 62 buses in July 1997. The Greenock operations were re-branded GMS Greenock Motor Services, using Ashton's white, green and gold livery, in order to more effectively combat the plethora of small operators in the town.[2] Long established independent operator McGill's Bus Services of Barrhead was also purchased in the same month, and initially continued to operate under its own identity.[2] A stake was also taken in Dart Buses of Paisley, another competitor, though this operator would soon go out of business.

An Arriva Scotland West Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH in Glasgow.

In 1997 the main operations became Arriva Scotland West Ltd, trading as Arriva Serving Scotland - that description suggesting a much larger area than actually covered - and the corporate livery of aquamarine and cream introduced. The company flirted with operations outside its operating area, successfully securing tenders to operate services in Cumbernauld (where a depot was established for a short time) and south east Glasgow, though these were short-lived.

One of the Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban used on the Glasgow Flyer service.

Further rationalisation took place in 2002, with the Inverclyde operations being sold to local management. Confusingly, the new operation was created as McGill's Bus Services - the company name and operating licence having been purchased with McGill's of Barrhead - based in Port Glasgow, and employing a livery of blue, white and gold in the same styles as both Arriva and the GMS division, depending on what type of vehicle it was applied to. At the same time, the Barrhead depot, originally belonging to the initial McGill's Bus Service, was closed and operations concentrated on the two remaining depots.

Recently, as with Arriva's other operations throughout the United Kingdom, the regional 'descriptor' of "Serving Scotland" has been dropped, and the company simply trades as Arriva.

In 2007, BAA awarded the new Glasgow Flyer 500 service to Arriva, which al bought several specially liveried Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse for the service. As a result the 905 Airlink service, jointly operated with Fairline Coaches under contract to Scottish Citylink, has ended; however Fairline have since started an independent service numbered 905.

In August 2010 the company, along with First Glasgow, were banned by the area Traffic Commissioner from registering any new services into Glasgow city centre for six months after being found guilty of breaching regulations by picking up and dropping off passengers at locations other than their designated bus stops. One other operator was also banned.[3]

A deal has been negotiated with the McGills.[4]


Below is a list of each depot fleet before the sale to McGill's. Most buses were transferred over to McGill's as part of the deal when the assets of Arriva Scotland West were sold to McGill's.

Inchinnan Depot[edit]

Location: Inchinnan (Greenock Road)

Johnstone Depot[edit]

Location: Johnstone (Cochranemill Road)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brown, Stewart J (November 1995). Buses in Britain 2: The Mid Nineties. Capital Transport. p. 13. ISBN 1-85414-181-3. 
  2. ^ a b MacDonald, Sandy (September 1997). "Fleet News Scotland". Buses Magazine (510): 50–51. 
  3. ^ Big bus companies face ban for predatory practices in city - Herald Scotland | News | Transport
  4. ^ Arriva exits Scotland with sale to McGill’s, 14 December 2011

External links[edit]