John Mason MSP questions impact of Parkhead Bus Depot closure

03 Dec 2015

John Mason today asked the Scottish Government for an update on the proposed closure of the First Bus Parkhead Depot.


After receiving a clarification from the Transport Minister that there will be no redundancies as part of the move John Mason highlighted the poor communication between First Glasgow and its employees.  Some of the staff have deliberately chosen to live near their job in Parkhead and may be forced to leave if they have challenging childcare or other arrangements.


He also noted the concern of the general public in the local area regarding the possibility of a negative impact on the East End bus services.


Commenting on the closure John Mason said:


“I am still very much uncertain over the proposed closure of Parkhead depot. From what I have heard there seems to be a lack of communication with much of the workforce.


“Alongside this lack of any public consultation there have to be concerns about the impact this closure would have on East End Bus services.  Surely if buses are based on the other side of the River, it is going to make the service less dependable?


“Next I plan to meet First Glasgow soon and would hope to be able to address some of these concerns at that point.”


This comes in the middle of First Glasgow’s planned closure of the Parkhead bus depot and subsequent transfer of most of the staff to the Caledonia depot in Govan.


You can watch the question from 2:45 to 4:30 at the following link :


Or you can read the full transcript below :


3. John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP): 

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with FirstGroup concerning its proposed closure of the Parkhead bus depot and the potential for redundancies or job transfers. (S4O-04896)

The Minister for Transport and Islands (Derek Mackay): 

As it happens, I visited First’s Caledonia depot on Tuesday and I was impressed by the substantial investment that has been made in what is now the biggest bus depot in Britain. First explained that it is discussing with staff how it can best use that investment to improve staff facilities across Glasgow. I understand that First Glasgow’s business director, John Cahill, has written to Mr Mason confirming that there will be no redundancies arising from the closure and offering a meeting to discuss the situation in more detail.

John Mason: 

I wonder whether the minister would agree with me that First has been particularly poor at communicating with both the public and some of its employees. There remains concern in the east end of Glasgow about the impact on jobs and on bus services.

Derek Mackay: 

I know that Mr Mason takes such matters very seriously. I also know that FirstGroup has gone beyond its legal obligations. It is about being proportionate. I am advised that First consulted through a formal letter to the three Unite conveners in First Glasgow followed by a formal presentation to the joint consultative committee. It has gone beyond the requirements and has been clear about there being no redundancies. I am sure that that reassurance is welcome.

On the condition of the Parkhead depot, it is a 93-year-old building. As the changes and investment are made, I encourage good communication with the staff, because this should be a positive move from the operator that can improve facilities and, in due course, the wider transport network in the area.”