SCOTTISH bus firm McGill’s has stepped up its investment in FlixBus, the inter-city coach operator it moved into partnership with in 2022.

McGill’s, owned by former Rangers directors James and Sandy Easdale, is to invest £7.5 million to bring more state-of-the-art long-distance coaches into its fleet. It follows a significant expansion of the partnership between the two companies in 2023, which saw an increase in routes and the expansion of cross-border services.

The expansion will begin this spring in anticipation of increased travel demand during the summer. Nineteen new full Flux specification coaches with green interior design will come into the network throughout this year, taking the total to more than 40 on the Flix network.

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McGill’s and German-owned FlixBus have been running inter-city coach services in Scotland since August 2022, when the partners launched a new daily services connecting Glasgow and Aberdeen, which calls into Stirling and Perth. By then McGill’s was already running services to and from Sheffield and Manchester for the European operator, and a daily summer service between London, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.

Services in Scotland are said to have expanded fivefold last year.

Ralph Roberts, chief executive of McGill’s, said today: “This investment is an indication of how important the partnership with FlixBus has been for our growth in the last year. Building a relationship with Flix, a global tech leader, to develop a high-quality intercity coach network, was a bold decision that has delivered results.

“Scaling up our partnership together in Scotland and across the border will deliver even more sustainable transport options for passengers as we continue to revolutionise the UK coach market.”

Andreas Schorling, managing director of FlixBus UK said: “Our partnership with McGill’s will increase frequencies on our most popular routes in Scotland, connecting seven cities as well as a new dedicated service between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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“Our ambitious plans to become the largest and highest quality network in the UK are well underway. McGill’s consistently receives some of the best customer ratings on our entire global network and we are proud to be bringing these services to even more destinations than ever before in 2024.”