Xplore Dundee

markymark2000

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I think I would put PVR reductions in the region of around 7-10 buses down by phase 2. I think while there are frequency reductions on some routes, it's only down slightly so the difference is only a few buses per route. You also have some proposals which have a reduction in frequency but the other changes to the services make it PVR neutral.
 
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overthewater

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Question has to be, will the company mothball the buses and keep in them just in case passengers returned? Whitfield seem to be getting a raw deal as you will now have to travel all the way around the scheme to get to the city centre. Surly there is a better solution?
 

RomeoCharlie71

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@kez19 With regard to your comments on the 236 - M&W don't make a profit on this route as it's tendered by the council. If I'm honest, I reckon the 236 will be withdrawn by the council in lieu of the new "in-fill" services which went out to tender yesterday.

I think I would put PVR reductions in the region of around 7-10 buses down by phase 2. I think while there are frequency reductions on some routes, it's only down slightly so the difference is only a few buses per route. You also have some proposals which have a reduction in frequency but the other changes to the services make it PVR neutral.
I think it'll be slightly more than that. I reckon a reduction of:
2 on the 1A/1B
4 on the 5/9/10
1 on the 18/32/33 (it could be a reduction of 2 if a round trip is 1hr 45)
2 on the 22
3 on the 28
Question has to be, will the company mothball the buses and keep in them just in case passengers returned? Whitfield seem to be getting a raw deal as you will now have to travel all the way around the scheme to get to the city centre. Surly there is a better solution?
Whitfield is already like that on the current 15/17.
 

overthewater

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@kez19 With regard to your comments on the 236 - M&W don't make a profit on this route as it's tendered by the council. If I'm honest, I reckon the 236 will be withdrawn by the council in lieu of the new "in-fill" services which went out to tender yesterday.

No tenders have went out as of yet, there is noticaition for a tender process but nothing more at this moment of time. Hopeful council and speed this up soon.

Whitfield is already like that on the current 15/17.

No its a circular, so if you live at a certain points its quicker going the other way.
 

kez19

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@kez19 With regard to your comments on the 236 - M&W don't make a profit on this route as it's tendered by the council. If I'm honest, I reckon the 236 will be withdrawn by the council in lieu of the new "in-fill" services which went out to tender yesterday.


I think it'll be slightly more than that. I reckon a reduction of:
2 on the 1A/1B
4 on the 5/9/10
1 on the 18/32/33 (it could be a reduction of 2 if a round trip is 1hr 45)
2 on the 22
3 on the 28

Whitfield is already like that on the current 15/17.


Regarding 236 comment, I said as in regard that they had it originally then Stagecoach to M/W but dropped it (or what word is appropriate), as that was the case as you mentioned but seems to me it’s a bit of a backpedal to then cover part of the area with one of their own.

If it’s a loss route then why add additional services if it will get the same result? (not at you I mean this as either council/bus company)
 

Gareth1980

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No tenders have went out as of yet, there is noticaition for a tender process but nothing more at this moment of time. Hopeful council and speed this up soon.



No its a circular, so if you live at a certain points its quicker going the other way.

The Whitfield has not been a circular for quite some time (18 Months? Maybe Longer?)
 

kez19

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15/17s terminate at The Crescent then go back round Whitfield, non circular however the previous route was as it stated on the ticket at time as “Whitfield loop”

When did that change? the map from Last Sept still has them doing a circular
View attachment 85829


At a guess slow to update or council being lazy passing updated info

The Whitfield has not been a circular for quite some time (18 Months? Maybe Longer?)


I think less than that possibly 6-12 months

Just to add but no consultation regarding these matters past present let alone future.

I can see changes going ahead then once implemented backfire/revert back
 

Gareth1980

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Regarding 236 comment, I said as in regard that they had it originally then Stagecoach to M/W but dropped it (or what word is appropriate), as that was the case as you mentioned but seems to me it’s a bit of a backpedal to then cover part of the area with one of their own.

If it’s a loss route then why add additional services if it will get the same result? (not at you I mean this as either council/bus company)

The old 36 was always quite, I guess the theory is you can serve elements of the old 36/236 while carrying 32 passengers, which are a captive Audience.

Extending the 18 to Claverhouse covers another element of the old 36/236. Mill o Mains will be the only noteworthy element without a direct bus to town (Outer Circle will serve Part) , Although within walking distance of the 18 or 33 depending what end of the estate you live...

This may leave the subsidy partially available for the "In-Fill" Services.... This may well cover Mill o Mains, As well as Dryburgh and Woodside as the 4 and 23 are in danger.

I understand there are 3 services going out to tender. This will NOT be the 202 or 206 which are due for renewal in 2022.
 

kez19

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Question has to be, will the company mothball the buses and keep in them just in case passengers returned? Whitfield seem to be getting a raw deal as you will now have to travel all the way around the scheme to get to the city centre. Surly there is a better solution?


Whitfield is still to a degree it can take at least 40 mins to get into City Centre (from Maybole Place at Summerfield Avenue), 17s are a bit quicker than 15s but Whitfield hasn’t had much improvement but it’s always gets changed no matter. The only benefit for Whitfield I think is the 33 at The Cresent when it was 15 mins as it’s less time to get to city centre, just Fintry Drive/Road then in.
 

overthewater

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Going by the newspaper No15/17 was changed at the start of the pandemic..... in April


From February.
A raft of changes to bus services, which will primarily impact routes to and from Ninewells, have been revealed. The changes in service have been revealed in Xplore Dundee’s 2020 service review.

The review shows that the changes, which come into effect on April 12, will lead to fewer buses running on Saturdays.

Services, 5,9 and 10, between Ninewells Hospital to Barnhill & Outer Circle will be cut back to a 15-minute cycle, which the firm claims will reflect the fewer number of passengers using the routes at the weekend compared to weekdays.

Meanwhile services 15/17, which run from the hospital to the city centre, and onto Whitfield, have been re-routed.

The review states: “These services have been re-routed in Whitfield so that both services run via Whitfield Drive, Longhaugh Road, Berwick Drive, Ballumbie Road, Drumgeith Road, Summerfield Avenue and terminate at The Crescent.

“Since implementing the clockwise/anti-clockwise loop system around Whitfield in January 2019, around 20% of passengers have opted to take advantage of quicker journeys into town from from the Hawick Drive end of Whitfield. Operationally, however, this system has proven challenging ”

“Going back to a linear route will allow us to create layover at The Crescent. These measures are intended to improve reliability.”

However, early morning commuters will benefit from revised timings for early morning rush hour trips, which will arrive in the city centre at more suitable times for workers.

The review said: “This makes it easier to transfer between buses in the city centre for onward travel to Ninewells Hospital.”

And the number 17 will now run directly in and out of Ninewells Hospital, a measure designed to speed up journey times and improve reliability.

Bill Bowman, North East MSP, said: “As with any changes to bus timetables, there will be winners and losers.

“But new timetables for Dundee seem to arrive more frequently than the buses.

“I welcome some of the changes which will accommodate early morning commuters through the week.

“However, cutting back on Saturday journeys will impact on weekend workers.

“More direct, early journeys to Ninewells Hospital should help with the parking issues and car park congestion, but time will tell.

“Patients and visitors will also get a raw deal when it comes to the weekend.”

Christine McGlasson, managing director, said: “We’ve re-timed a number of journeys so that they’ll arrive in the city centre at more suitable times – for example, it will become easier for those travelling onward to Ninewells Hospital to transfer between buses. Other buses are being re-routed or re-timed to make it easier to access key employers – for example, more services 5 and 9/10 will call at Sainsburys, the Technology Park and the Tesco call centre on Baird Avenue.


“We’ve also noticed that the number of people catching the bus drops at weekends and on public holidays, when many commuters traditionally take advantage of the opportunity to have a day off work.

“So we’ve reduced the frequency of daytime services slightly to reflect this pattern – however we’ve retained morning journeys at the same level, to ensure those workers unaffected by weekends and holidays can still travel as usual.”


Whitfield is still to a degree it can take at least 40 mins to get into City Centre (from Maybole Place at Summerfield Avenue), 17s are a bit quicker than 15s but Whitfield hasn’t had much improvement but it’s always gets changed no matter. The only benefit for Whitfield I think is the 33 at The Cresent when it was 15 mins as it’s less time to get to city centre, just Fintry Drive/Road then in.

Its a shame they could operate directly down Longhaugh Rd, then all you have to do is reroute the 9/10 to operate via Asda etc and add in extra bus to give it 4 per hour. ( dare say the time saved from the 15/17 could free up said bus)
 

kez19

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Going by the newspaper No15/17 was changed at the start of the pandemic..... in April


From February.





Its a shame they could operate directly down Longhaugh Rd, then all you have to do is reroute the 9/10 to operate via Asda etc and add in extra bus to give it 4 per hour. ( dare say the time saved from the 15/17 could free up said bus)


I vaguely remember that Whitfield had the 16 I believe but services use to come up by Longhaugh Road (knowledge on that part is small as I was just a kid at the time!)

Sometime in the 00s or possibly later Whitfield had another change where it was a circular, where it ran along Drumgeith Road via Peebles Drive (Berwick Drive after 6pm?) to head to City Centre/Ninewells, Summerfield Avenue was cut off and in winter months people in the area had to get off and walk at Drumgeith Road (paths had no lights either but I guess by council/transport standards they deemed it safe)

Can I ask what exactly are "in fill" services? (anyone)


I know slightly off topic but I see there was no mention of the X90 Dundee-Edinburgh Airport link (wonder if this will be or has an affect on this?)
 
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RomeoCharlie71

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The 15/17 changed on 28 June 2020 when services were increased as a result of Government funding. They amalgamated the increase in service with the service changes that were planned to take place in April 2020.
 

overthewater

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Cheers.

No wonder some of the changes have gone under the radar when they took place during this current pandemic.
 

RomeoCharlie71

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I have it on good authority that McGills are in "advanced negotiations" with Xplore Dundee regarding a potential sale, which is due to be completed in the very near future.

Edit 14:30: information is now public. https://scottishbusinessnews.net/mcgills-buses-to-purchase-xplore-dundee-xplore-more/

NATIONAL Express, the UK public transport company, has agreed a deal to sell its Dundee operation to Greenock-based McGill’s Buses. The deal is subject to completion by the end of the year.

McGill’s, owned by the entrepreneurial brothers, Sandy and James Easdale, will be licenced to operate 850 buses, have 1200 employees and will now have a turnover of £60m. The deal makes McGill’s Buses the biggest UK independent bus operator in the UK.

The business trades in Dundee under the Xplore Dundee brand for bus travel and Xplore More for coach travel. There are 350 employees and a fleet of 120 buses. The business turns over more than £18m and is based at the East Dock Street site that it has occupied since being owned by the council.

Ralph Roberts, CEO of McGill’s Buses, said: “We are purchasing the shares of the company and all activities will carry on as normal. There are no immediate plans to change the branding of the buses.”

McGill’s Buses has grown rapidly during the past decade following its purchase of Arriva Scotland West in a landmark deal in March 2012.

The group carried more than 30million passenger journeys in 2019 and has a clear focus on a quality, modern offering for customers.

Last March, McGill’s unveiled 26 low-emission buses bought from Alexander Dennis in a £4.75 million purchase. That acquisition took McGill’s capital investment since 2014 to more than £30 million – almost £24 million of that on new vehicles.

McGill’s Buses deal for Xplore Dundee and Xplore More caps an extraordinary year of activity for the Easdale brothers, with this week’s announcement of an extensive waterfront site at Dumbarton also bringing their total construction projects to well over £400m.

Sandy Easdale said: “We have a clear vison for growth and profitability and we are able to conclude deals speedily and with the minimum of fuss. This is the way we have always worked.”

McGill’s chairman James Easdale said: “The Xplore acquisition is a perfect fit for us. Whilst others are shying away from investment, we are always looking for new opportunities in both construction and transport.”
 
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DJames

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I have it on good authority that McGills are in "advanced negotiations" with Xplore Dundee regarding a potential sale, which is due to be completed in the very near future.

Confirmed now by this site.
 

kez19

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I know the name change isn’t happening (as such) but I jokingly said to myself McGills of Dundee

I know nothing isn’t confirmed but is McGills good for getting new buses?

I am only speculating and nothing more (again take it with a pinch of salt), but I wonder in terms of the brand, I wonder even in the future the colour scheme will change to be under the McGills brand.
 
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Volvodart

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Xplore Dundee and Xplore More sold to Greenock-based firm McGill’s Buses


Bus operator Xplore Dundee has been sold to Greenock-based firm, McGill’s Buses.

National Express, which owns Xplore Dundee for bus travel and Xplore More for coach travel, has agreed to sell its Dundee operation in a deal subject to completion by the end of the year.

The business, based at a site on East Dock Street, employs 350 people and has a fleet of 120 buses.

McGill’s, owned by brothers Sandy and James Easdale, will be licenced to operate 850 buses and have 1,200 employees, making it the biggest independent bus operator in the UK.


Ralph Roberts, CEO of McGill’s Buses, said: “We are purchasing the shares of the company and all activities will carry on as normal. There are no immediate plans to change the branding of the buses.”

Managing Director of Xplore Dundee, Christine McGlasson, said: “We have enjoyed 23 years as part of the National Express Group and under McGill’s we can continue to recover and grow our business with another Scottish operator at the helm experiencing similar conditions and under the same authorities as our own.

“Xplore Dundee is a strong, resilient business with an excellent team of people within it, and I have no doubt we will continue in our mission to provide a top class public transport service for the people of this city.”


McGill’s Buses has grown rapidly during the past decade following its purchase of Arriva Scotland West in a landmark deal in March 2012.

McGill’s chairman James Easdale said: “The Xplore acquisition is a perfect fit for us. Whilst others are shying away from investment, we are always looking for new opportunities in both construction and transport.”
 

Strathclyder

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2020 throws us one last curveball. Not a purchase I was honestly expecting, but I'll be keeping a close eye on it to see how it all pans out. Far too early to speculate of course, but should be interesting times all the same.
 

tbtc

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Interesting that National Express would be the ones announcing the significant revisions to services (which will mean that a few corridors go down from two services to just one (no more fifteen, no more twenty nine, just one service around St Mary's, just a half hourly service on Forfar Road beyond Morgan) and then selling up - maybe the changes were arranged as part of the deal (so that NatEx get to look like the "baddies" and the new operator start off with a decent reputation rather than being seen to make inevitable cuts.

It could be a great purchase - NatEx get rid of a small outstation some way from the rest of the operation, McGills expand within Scotland, it's a fairly simple network (that's about to become significantly simpler than it used to be, with all the cuts). It's just a case of whether the Easdales want to maintain cordial relations with Stagecoach - maybe Broughty Ferry - Ninewells will be similar to the way that the Paisley Road corridor has been with First?
 

kez19

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Interesting that National Express would be the ones announcing the significant revisions to services (which will mean that a few corridors go down from two services to just one (no more fifteen, no more twenty nine, just one service around St Mary's, just a half hourly service on Forfar Road beyond Morgan) and then selling up - maybe the changes were arranged as part of the deal (so that NatEx get to look like the "baddies" and the new operator start off with a decent reputation rather than being seen to make inevitable cuts.

It could be a great purchase - NatEx get rid of a small outstation some way from the rest of the operation, McGills expand within Scotland, it's a fairly simple network (that's about to become significantly simpler than it used to be, with all the cuts). It's just a case of whether the Easdales want to maintain cordial relations with Stagecoach - maybe Broughty Ferry - Ninewells will be similar to the way that the Paisley Road corridor has been with First?

Yet on the other could McGills bring them back? The cut services or look at ways of bringing them back?
 

RomeoCharlie71

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Yet on the other could McGills bring them back? The cut services or look at ways of bringing them back?
AIUI management will stay the same and the operations will be very separate, at least to start with.

But yes, I think the cuts were all part of the plan to make it a better sale.
 

kez19

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AIUI management will stay the same and the operations will be very separate, at least to start with.

But yes, I think the cuts were all part of the plan to make it a better sale.


Shame NatEx implement it but McGills are possibly going to get the flack too but sure McGills may do better than NatEx.

I wonder how long this has been going on as it seems pretty much out of the blue?

2020 throws us one last curveball. Not a purchase I was honestly expecting, but I'll be keeping a close eye on it to see how it all pans out. Far too early to speculate of course, but should be interesting times all the same.


If I am honest I was aware of rumours going about 5 years ago (word of mouth), I had thought of at least 3 companies I would think would take over

My suggestions at time:
First (operations in Scotland)
Stagecoach (same as First)
Go Ahead (reason for Go Ahead was just using their services in Newcastle and pretty much their fleet seem more updated)

Seeing old photos of Glasgow it’s strange to see Arriva operated for a while to then be sold (operations) to McGills - I remember vaguely seeing Arriva buses in Glasgow and did wonder where they went... and that’s the answer.
 
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overthewater

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I wonder how long this has been going on as it seems pretty much out of the blue?

It would have to be months and months etc to get everything sorted. Its a question: Did National Express wanted to sale up or did Mc gills go around making offers to buy and Nat express so a chance to get rid?
 

kez19

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It would have to be months and months etc to get everything sorted. Its a question: Did National Express wanted to sale up or did Mc gills go around making offers to buy and Nat express so a chance to get rid?


Yet I have a friend that works there seemed unaware of anything going on but I do wonder on the other, as to surely this should have been spoken about to all staff/unions (unless I have missed something) as surely would shareholders have more say?
 

RomeoCharlie71

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There has allegedly been something fishy going on for months. I was in town when the announcement was made available to Xplore staff; drivers weren't surprised that it had been sold but were surprised that it was sold to McGills, if that makes sense.
 

upasalmon

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I know that McBraynes once ran a large company, but as McGills are expanding within Scotland would a new name be in more appropriate?
How about SCOTTISH BUSES? Or even SMT, if that name is allowed.

A Guid New Year to ye and Lang may yer lungs reek!
 

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