A rival bus firm could save the night bus service after First Bus announced it was axing 11 routes at the end of the month.

McGill's Buses, which is owned by Scottish billionaire brothers Sandy and James Easdale, has said they 'are looking at options for introducing night buses to Glasgow'.

The independent bus operator made the announcement following news earlier this week that First Glasgow were scrapping their night bus service.

The buses covered travel from Glasgow city centre across the city and the surrounding areas including Clydebank, Paisley, Newton Mearns, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Motherwell and Wishaw.

McGill's said that it was keen to ensure public transport provision in Scotland’s biggest city remained available at night - but added that service provision had to be financially viable.

The Gazette: Left to right Sandy Easdale, Ralph Roberts, James EasdaleLeft to right Sandy Easdale, Ralph Roberts, James Easdale (Image: MHI)

Ralph Roberts, CEO at McGill’s Group, said: “McGill’s Group is going to examine options for providing a night bus service to Glasgow and see if we can establish a long-term plan that would be viable.

“We are only at an initial stage of looking at what may be achievable. The First Glasgow services that are being terminated are extensive and we cannot say at this stage that a like-for-like replacement will be feasible.

“That said, we know there is a level of demand for night-time bus services and if Glasgow is to thrive as a city, it needs companies such as McGill’s together with city leaders to see what we can achieve.”

McGill’s co-owner Sandy Easdale said: “We have invested in a state-of-the-art fleet for McGill’s Group to serve Glasgow and James and I have also invested personally in the city. We want Glasgow to be successful and it needs to be successful.

"If people stop coming into the city at night to support the entertainment and leisure industry, they might just stop coming during the day as well. That would be a disaster for the local economy.”

The Gazette:

James Easdale, McGill’s co-owner, added: “Bus provision in Glasgow is operated through a commercial marketplace and when there is movement, such as has happened this week, the opportunity can be attractive to another organisation such as McGill’s Group.

"Trains and subway in Glasgow are both under public control and are simply not serving the needs of the night-time economy either. There is an opportunity for buses to fill that huge gap and that’s why we’re keen to see what is possible.”