GREENOCK bus company McGill's is shelling out £17.5m on a major new all-electric addition to its fleet.

The firm owned by Sandy and James Easdale, which recently became the UK’s largest independent bus operator, has ordered 35 new vehicles.

They'll be used on their Johnstone to Glasgow route and by Xplore Dundee - the firm they acquired from National Express in December.

In addition to the all-electric vehicles, McGill’s is also in 'advanced talks' with partners to bring 12 hydrogen buses into the business over the next 12 months.

The new fleet purchase takes McGill’s capital investment since 2014 to more than £50m.

Ralph Roberts, chief executive, said: “McGill’s is recognised for the exceptionally high standard of its fleet and we’re delighted to be making this new investment into electric vehicles.

"By the end of 2021, the McGill’s Group will operate more electric buses than any other operator in Scotland.”

Sandy Easdale added: “The transport sector continues to be affected by the pandemic but this hasn’t dented our confidence in the business – far from it.

"McGill’s has been built into such a successful brand by our willingness to spend and provide a quality service to passengers and this will continue.”

James Easdale said: “The last 18 months has seen Sandy and I announce construction projects worth more than £400m as well as the planned £20m redevelopment of the Watt Brothers store in Glasgow.

"Whilst we’ve been asked if our focus has shifted from transport to property, this deal for new vehicles demonstrates that McGill’s continues to be a key business for us and one which we will continue to grow in the years to come.”