TWO directors at Lothian Buses who became embroiled in a damaging boardroom row are set to each receive bonuses worth £80,000.

Engineering director Bill Devlin and finance director Norman Strachan launched an action against Edinburgh Council through an employment tribunal after being told their bonuses would not be paid.

At the end of 2014 Lothian Buses managing director Ian Craig fell out with three other directors who launched a grievance procedure against him, allegedly relating to his abrasive management style and accusations he failed to consult colleagues over significant decisions.

The third director, Bill Campbell, has been off ill for more than a year since the row and has collected a pre-tax salary of more than £100,000 in accordance with his contract.

The dispute led to the resignation of bus chairwoman Anne Faulds and subsequently Mr Craig. The three other directors are due to leave the company over the course of the next two years.

It emerged in June that the directors would be stripped of annual bonuses totalling about £250,000 in the wake of the protracted battle.

his decision has now been overturned following the legal threat.

A senior transport source said: “Two of them are taking their employer to industrial tribunal while working out their notice to access bonuses, and the other has not set foot in the place for over a year. 

“I wonder if bus drivers would be allowed that kind of sick leave package.”

Commenting on the absence of Mr Campbell, Edinburgh transport convener Lesley Hinds said: “I am concerned, as the council is a major shareholder in Lothian Buses, that a member of staff has not been available for the management of the company.”

Despite the bus company enjoying record-breaking results over the last two years, in-fighting cast a long shadow over its success. 
The battle was played out in public after a series of confidential leaks ended with allegations made against Mr Craig, but an investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

One leaked letter by Edinburgh City Council described the leadership as “dysfunctional”.

The council was prompted to overhaul the management team with a “phased approach to resolve the challenges of the dysfunctional executive director team and secure leadership and control”.

It led to a shake-up of the bus service in Edinburgh.

Part of the overhaul is to introduce new non-executive director positions on the boards of the council’s umbrella transport company Transport for Edinburgh as it moves to stabilise management of the bus firm.

Jim McFarlane, chairman of Lothian Buses, said: “Lothian Buses is a highly successful business that supports thousands of jobs, contributes millions of pounds to the city’s purse and is one of the highest rated for passenger satisfaction in the country. 

“The directors have been paid in accordance with their pre-existing contracts, based on this performance, with the amounts due to be openly published in the City of Edinburgh Council’s annual accounts as has been the case for several years.”

He said: “There are also other performance metrics that I could also quote including passenger satisfaction rates which would demonstrate that Lothian Buses is amongst the highest rated of all UK bus companies.”