I have been lucky to visit Glasgow quite a few times over the years, it is a City that I like very much, the people are very warm and friendly and once you get used to the unique accent most Glaswegians that I have met have been extremely funny and entertaining people. Case in point being the one and only Billy Connolly, now at 70 plus and with dementia, quite rightly knighted and is Sir Billy. Strangely enough back in the day when I was Senior Manager, Strategic Recruitment for First Group, we had Sir Billy photographed sat in the drivers seat of. First Glasgow bus. The reason being that our Polish drivers were shown videos of Billy doing his stand up comedy, the logic being that they could understand the Glaswegian accent and even better the humour, which they certainly did get.
Very often my visits to Glasgow would require me flying from Birmingham Airport to Glasgow where I would always catch the excellent Glasgow 500, airport shuttle service. This has always been a flagship route, and today has been the subject of major investment with a superb new fleet, representing he business case stacks up nicely, the service is actually a victim of its own success, with passenger numbers growing up year on year. From my own experience I have always used the service, and found it excellent value for money. The new fleet effectively doubles capacity, as it offers double the seating capacity of the former very smart and comfortable single deckers.
As you might expect everything is top notch from the luxury coach style seats to the upper saloon tables with wi-fi chargers, it panders quite rightly to the expectations of first class airline passengers, which can only be a good thing. Quick and frequent the service is without doubt in the Premier league when it comes to operating high quality airport to City bus networks. It is interesting to note that the highest calibre services operate in my opinion across the length and breadth of the UK. Just look at the Passenger Focus Satisfaction surveys they have exceptionally high satisfaction levels from passengers and rightly so. I have seen it myself with National Express and Megabus, as well as the likes of the Oxford Tube. However, in terms of sheer elegance this new fleet is right up there with the very best.
The very talented MD of Scotland for First is a man who I have the greatest respect for, Andrew Jarvis is not only a very capable MD with a proven track record of delivery but he also a very nice chap, under his leadership, the at times troubled Scottish Companies have stabilised after some tough challenges including industrial action in Aberdeen. However, strong and stable management have now put the business units into better positions and this new investment is testimony to that success. So, well done First Glasgow and Andrew Jarvis and team, and and lets not forget Sir Billie Connolly, the Big Yin!