UK’s biggest depot work starts
First Glasgow has officially unveiled the ten acre site that in 2014 will become home to the company’s new £20m bus depot and headquarters at Gushetfaulds on the south side of the city. According to the operator, the new facility will be the biggest bus depot in the UK, with space for up to 450 buses and 1,200 employees. The company has created room for an additional 150 buses as it aims to attract more customers to its services. The new depot will bring 300 buses and 800 employees from First Glasgow’s current headquarters at Larkfield into the same complex for the first time. Construction is due to be complete in October 2014 with the site fully operational in the November of that year. Deputy First Minister, MSP Nicola Sturgeon, put the ceremonial first spade in the ground at the site to mark the start of the construction. She was joined by First Glasgow’s new MD, Fiona Kerr, two of the company’s longest serving employees, mechanic Willie Walker and driver John McGregor, as well as its youngest apprentice, 16 year old Jak Monaghan.
Groundworks for the construction have already been completed and the entire project is scheduled to finish in November 2014. Securing the contract to construct the new headquarters is global infrastructure group, Balfour Beatty. The development will consist of three separate buildings: a bus maintenance facility, a dedicated service tunnel with a deep clean facility and a specialist long term vehicle repair unit. The service tunnel will be fitted with an automated chassis clean unit, two high specification automated vehicle washes, fuel installation and facilities for vehicle testing and body shop repairs. The new buildings will have a number of environmentally friendly features, including: ‘photovoltaic solar cells’ on the roofs, rainwater harvesting, low energy intelligent lighting, a Building Management System that senses when a door is opened and automatically shuts down the heating within those areas, as well as new fuel tanks with intelligent monitoring to allow instantaneous readings of all fluids and which will automatically re-order supplies. It will also incorporate 20 prefabricated, fully equipped pits; a new spray booth and oven for painting buses; new training facilities and modern accommodation for drivers; including lockers and canteen facilities.
Fiona Kerr said, ‘The £20m investment in our new depot and headquarters is great news for our customers – the new facility will help us improve upon an already strong punctuality and reliability performance and we hope it will encourage people to consider bus travel more often. Such is our commitment to growing our business and our confidence in increasing passenger numbers that we have created space at the new site for an extra 150 buses and 400 staff. It’s great news that from November 2014 my colleagues will have the working environment that their talent, commitment and dedication deserve.’