First to sell Borders operations

First Scotland East/First Borders has agreed in principle to sell its operations in the Scottish Borders to West Coast Motors. The sale is expected to conclude on 25 March. The Galashiels depot, Peebles, Hawick and Kelso outstations, as well as all employees, are to transfer to West Coast Motors. The new owners will operate the business under its operating subsidiary, Borders Buses Ltd.

MD of First Scotland East, Paul McGowan, said, ‘Despite the focus on services and the hard work of everyone across our business, unfortunately the introduction of the Borders Railway in 2015 has impacted demand for bus travel and our services are becoming increasingly unsustainable. I’m pleased we have an agreement in principle to sell the operations to West Coast Motors, a reliable and well established transport company. I’m confident their experience operating in rural areas will be of great benefit to the business.’

‘The proposed sale does not, in any way, reflect the commitment of our employees in the area who have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible service to local communities. I’d like to thank them for their hard work and loyalty over the years. We will be fully supporting them throughout this process. We’re proud to serve the Borders community and would like to thank passengers for travelling with First Scotland East over the years. I can assure our customers that we will continue to run services as normal throughout the proposed transition.’

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