THE owners of Greenock-based bus operator McGill’s have launched a blistering broadside at politicians demanding that they ‘put up or shut up’ with regards to the industry in Scotland.

Billionaire businessmen Sandy and James Easdale have taken aim at both the SNP government and the opposition Labour Party over the sector's future.

Their outspoken comments follow several ‘high-value’ announcements by their company relating to investment in buses, building infrastructure and expansion through acquisition of regional firms.

The Eadales say those in parliament must ‘stop indulging in populism’ and engage with businesses operating in the market.

They have taken particular issue with the government's handling of services, plus a Scottish Labour promise to put buses ‘back in public hands’ and extend free bus travel beyond the current age of 22 if elected.

Sandy Easdale said: “The government can’t run the NHS, schools, ferries or repair the roads, so who has the expertise to run a major transport company?

“Are we expected to invest millions and wait for government to try and confiscate that from us through an ego-driven franchise competition?

Greenock Telegraph:

“I am fed up hearing the SNP and Labour banging on about nationalisation and privatisation.

"Bearing in mind the black hole in Scotland’s budget, do they honestly think a nationalised company could even think about the major financial investment we are putting in place?"

In the past decade, the brothers have splashed out more than £200 million buying buses, building infrastructure and expanding and developing through the acquisition of regional companies.

This includes a £7.5 million order of 23 buses from the world’s biggest manufacturer, Yutong, and continued investment in a zero-emission electric fleet.

Sandy Easdale added: “Like many business figures in Scotland, my brother and I are seriously considering supporting Labour to get rid of the failed SNP and Green coalition.

“However, when the party comes out with nonsense like free travel for everybody, you begin to wonder if the next promise will be free beer for the workers and a £30,000 wage even if you don’t work.”

Greenock Telegraph:

James Easdale added: “Between the SNP’s mismanagement of the ferries and Ferguson Marine and Labour’s insane idea of a windfall tax for the oil and gas industry which could put 40,000 jobs at stake, you have to wonder what act of self-harm will be dreamed up next by our politicians.

“In our case, we are investing heavily to grow our business, providing jobs and putting money into the coffers of the public purse.

"A lot of capital expenditure has gone into our tie-up with FlixBus, an international travel operator. If left up to our political leaders, that simply could not happen - and it is doubtful that FlixBus would want to take the risk of operating here.

“It is high time that politicians set out a path for economic growth for Scotland rather than simply announcing more uncosted giveaways and punitive measures on job creators.”

The Telegraph has contacted the SNP and Scottish Labour for a response to the comments.