Since its inception West Coast Motors has remained privately owned by the Craig family and headquartered in Campbeltown, Argyll.
From humble beginnings in the early 1920’s, the company now employs approximately 600 staff and has a fleet of 270 buses and coaches. The company incorporates the following brands:
- City Sightseeing Glasgow
- City Sightseeing Bute
- Glasgow Citybus
- Kintyre Express
- West Coast Tours
- Borders Buses Ltd
- Scotline Tours
For those who would like to know a bit more about our company, we’ve compiled a chronological history of West Coast Motors with some wonderful images that give an insight in to the growth and development which made us who we are today.
A History of West Coast Motors
Fairline Coaches is absorbed into Craig of Campbeltown and adopts the name West Coast Motors.
Borders Buses acquired routes formerly operated BusKers in the Scottish Borders.
West Coast Motors acquired the Scotline Tours brand in May. Scotline, located on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, operates a tour programme across Scotland.
Borders Buses acquired BARC Coach Hire's Scottish Borders operations in the Galashiels and Peebles area.
West Coast Motors acquired First Scotland East's operations in the Scottish Borders.
Operating under Borders Buses it operates a network of bus routes across the Scottish Borders, Carlisle, East Lothian, Midlothian and Edinburgh area.
West Coast Motors acquired Perryman's Buses from Linda and Richard Perryman.
Established in 1973, Perryman's Buses operates a network of bus, coach and tour services across East Lothian, North Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.
Fairline Coaches Ltd acquired from Mr Pawan Sood creating a dedicated private hire division in Glasgow.
Bowman's Coaches' tour and local bus services acquired on the Isle of Mull.
Glasgow Citybus acquires John Morrow Coaches of Clydebank.
Kintyre Express reintroduces a scheduled ferry service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle.
West Coast Motors acquired Kintyre Express operating private charter services mainly between Campbeltown and Troon.
City Sightseeing Glasgow franchise purchased operating open top tours in Glasgow.
West Coast Motors acquired Glasgow Citybus, operating local services in Glasgow and Dunbartonshire.
West Coast Motors acquired Oban-Dalavich service from L. F. Stewart and Son and Skipness and Kilberry services from D & E Henderson Hiring in Tarbert.
West Coast Motors commenced operation of services in Cowal and Bute formerly operated by Stagecoach.
Open top tours operating in both Oban and Bute.
Oban and District Buses Ltd acquired from Mr Derek Stuart.
West Coast Motors commenced operation of the services to Inverness for Scottish Citylink. New premises were built in Oban.
Premises in Ardrishaig and Oban were acquired from Midland Scottish.
Citylink offered the contract to operate the 976 Oban-Glasgow service..
The Scottish bus industry was de-regulated. The newly formed Scottish Citylink Coaches Ltd invited West Coast Motors to operate the 926 Campbeltown – Glasgow service on their behalf.
Services to Ormsary, Ford and Kilmartin were acquired from the Stag Garage in Lochgilphead. There were no premises included in the sale so services operated from the car park.
West Coast Motors acquired McColls of Benderloch with Oban to Benderloch and Oban to Easdale services.
William S. G. Craig died aged 69 and ownership of the business passed to R. H. and William G. Craig.
McConnachies sold to West Coast Motors. Machrihanish and local services were added allowing West Coast Motors to consolidate all Kintyre services.
West Coast Transports was sold to Scottish Road Services.
West Coast Transports acquired both Ramsays Haulage and James McPhee Haulage.
West Coast Transports pioneered haulage of milk by tankers from farms in Kintyre.
West Coast Transports was created and operated haulage services.
Dickies of Tarbert were acquired. This gave WCMS the service between West and East Loch Tarbert piers to connect with the steamers.
West Coast Motor Service Company was converted to limited company and became ‘Craig of Campbeltown Ltd’ trading as West Coast Motors.
William McKerral's Southend to Campbeltown service acquired.
Benmore Distillery was purchased by Jack Craig and West Coast Motors Service Company moved in.
Benmore Distillery opened in 1868 and stopped producing whisky in 1927. A condition of the sale of the distillery was a restriction in the use of the name ‘Benmore’ which was a whisky brand.
The spelling was changed by Jack and William to ‘Benmhor’ and the name remains to this day.
Newspapers were added to the mail van service on the condition that His Majesty’s mail took priority over the papers. West Coast Motors operated the mail van contract until October 2011.
Jack Sommerville's Campbeltown to Carradale service acquired.
William S.G. Craig convinced Royal Mail to let him carry the mails overnight from Glasgow to Campbeltown by road instead of steamer.
Tarbert to Campbeltown services were extended to commence at Lochgilphead. David Craig moved to Lochgilphead.
Regular bus service commenced from Tarbert to Campbeltown. David Craig moved to Tarbert.
‘West Coast Motor Service Company’ was painted on the side of a bus by Jack Craig.
Regular bus service between Campbeltown and Tarbert commenced.
David Sommerville joined partnership.
Craig Brothers garage and shop premises opened in Longrow as a partnership of Jack Craig, William Craig and David Craig.
Craig Brothers commenced the operation of passenger carrying vehicles for hire.
Jack Craig came to Campbeltown after serving as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during the first world war. He was later joined by his brother William Slater Gold Craig.