THE CEO of McGill's clashed with the leader of Renfrewshire Council after a fiery public meeting last night. 

The bus firm invited passengers to Renfrew to discuss the future of the X23 and 23 services on the back of potential cuts to the routes.

The buses are a highly important link for residents in Erskine, Inchinnan, and Renfrew, to Glasgow, but chiefs at the Greenock based firm have refused to rule out the possibility that the services will be cancelled altogether. 

The news comes fresh off the back of the impending closure of the McGill's Barrhead depot and head office operations at their Inchinnan base.

READ MORE: Renfrewshire bus routes in danger ahead of public meeting

At a fiery public meeting last night, bus users were left with more questions than answers with McGill's bosses promising to listen to feedback and come back with a plan for the services in the near future. 

However, taking to Twitter last night, the leader of Renfrewshire Council defended the council's investment in roads on the back of criticism from McGill's. 

Iain Nicolson, leader of the SNP minority administration, wrote: "We're not apologising for biggest ever investment in roads, emergency repairs to bridges, millions put into transport infrastructure by councils.

"Your 'customers' didn't buy it tonight either. Happy to talk."

Renfrewshire Council injected £7.2million into tackling the area’s pothole epidemic – its biggest ever annual investment in the roads network - in May last year. 

However, there have been more than 6,500 reports about potholes in Renfrewshire in the last three years. 

Hitting back at the Erskine and Inchinnan man, Ralph Roberts, CEO of McGill's, said: "Overriding negative feedback last night Iain on late running buses.

"Over 90% of late running is congestion / infrastructure / roadworks related.

"Your roads department won’t even respond to my staff anymore. Lots to be achieved here but there has to be willingness to act.

"The other 10% is down to us with vehicle / staff issues. We can work on that and we must do better. Your record roads budget this year has caused damage to bus routes, that’s a fact that you cannot avoid.

"Renfrewshire Council has no targets for bus passengers at all. Why is this? There are more buses in Gauze St than Buchanan bus station yet zero input from Council on parking, congestion or other factors affecting users. Yes, lots to do.

"The people of Erskine & Renfrew have no train line to circumvent congestion - they have to rely on the bus or car. Train would half the commute time. Would that not be a better use of City Deal money than GARL (rail link to Glasgow Airport)? What do the people of Erskine & Renfrew think I wonder?"

The meeting was so well attended last night at the Normandy Hotel, Renfrew, that another room had to be found to accommodate everyone. 

READ MORE: Families torn apart after Paisley St Andrew's ballot

However, other councillors were left with no clarity over what was being proposed.

Cllr John Shaw, who represents Renfrew, said: "The presentation that was being given by the MD of McGill's was abandoned prior to completion to take questions and they certainly took a grilling.

"A problem with this was that it wasn't entirely clear what was being proposed and what was being consulted on so the below is what I took from the meeting.

"It seems that the 23 service will continue with new buses with some tinkering on the timetable from Braehead onward but their major stated problem is with the X23 and the fact most of the buses providing that service sit idle in the garage during the day and are then packed to the gunnels at peak times.

"McGill's stated that this is losing them money and that they are having to subsidise through other services.

"They claimed to be there in listening mode to hear suggestions as to how this could better work and are looking to arrange another meeting in the near future (maybe even next week) to report back.

"I was extremely impressed with the huge numbers of people there from the local area and they would be a brave company to ignore the strength of feeling of the meeting, I look forward to hearing their proposals."