HIGH costs will deter most councils from running their own bus service, says the boss at McGill’s.

Ralph Roberts, the bus company’s managing director, was speaking after the Scottish Parliament voted to allow councils to run their own services.

Local authorities had previously been forbidden from running most routes as a result of laws dating from the Thatcher era.

READ MORE: Man reported over alleged drug possession in Barrhead

Mr Roberts told the Barrhead News: “I’m confident that most councils won’t want to run their own bus services due to the high costs, but if it results in councils being more engaged with bus users and helps provide a better service, we’re all for it. 

“Currently, car users are treated much better than bus users and we welcome any changes that will rectify this.”

News of the MSPs’ decision to change the law was given an initial welcome in Barrhead and Neilson.

Rosaleen Reilly, chair of Barrhead Community Council, said: “I would definitely welcome more competition for McGill’s whose service since they shut their Barrhead depot has been at times ridiculous. 

“I feel sorry for workers who have to stand for ages waiting for a bus when they are going to and from work.”

However, Mr Roberts said the company had made no changes to its service in the area since the closure of its Barrhead depot.

READ MORE: Major road between Barrhead and Newton Mearns set for four week closure​

John Scott, vice chair of Neilston Community Council, said if the change in law meant the community could have an influence or say then it would be welcome. He added: “Residents should be able to have a say in where and when the services run and in terms of transport providers.

“There are frequent complaints about the bus service because they tend to be irregular and not on time.”

Meanwhile, Green MSP Ross Greer said deregulation of the sector had led to the fragmented services now operating in much of the UK. He added: “Allowing East Renfrewshire and other councils to run their own services is a major step towards public transport actually running in the public’s interest. 

“I’m delighted we’ve finally ditched Thatcher’s ridiculous bus laws, which have been destroying essential bus services in our communities for decades.”

East Renfrewshire Council declined to comment.