BUS firm McGill’s has pledged to “strive further” to improve punctuality on its routes after being hit with a hefty fine for failing to stick to its timetables.

A number of passengers using the operator’s local services have complained about delays.

Now the Senior Traffic Commissioner has slapped a £75,000 fine on McGill’s as punishment for its less-than-impressive timekeeping.

Ralph Roberts, managing director of McGill’s Buses, said he recognises that the firm must do more to ensure services run on time.

“Following the review from the Traffic Commissioner, we accept the outcome of this process, which was detailed and fair in its full judgment,” he added.

“A number of parties, including passenger body Bus Users Scotland, the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) and the Traffic Commissioner, confirmed their trust in McGill’s as an operator and praised how we dealt with major disruption and how we kept customers informed, as well as recognising our significant investment record.

“That said, we recognise that a number of our services have experienced issues with punctuality over the last 12 months and we will strive further to improve the situation in the months to come.”

Mr Roberts said congestion and roadworks continue to be a major problem for all bus operators.

He continued: “This has had an impact on passenger numbers, which have dropped across the board over the past decade.

“However, even when our punctuality rate has dipped, we are still achieving performance which outstrips most UK rail companies.

“As a bus operator, we need to factor in the problems we face on the road network and evolve our business accordingly. However, we also need help from local authorities to ensure the issues do not discourage investment in the vital services we provide.”

McGill’s was given 28 days to pay the fine, which goes to the Scottish Government.