Bus company McGill’s has been rapped over poor punctuality and fined £75,000.

Based in Greenock, Inverclyde, the firm is run by former Rangers FC directors Sandy and James Easdale.

It has been at the centre of an investigation by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner over concerns at how services are being run.

And it has emerged transport managers James Easdale, Ralph Roberts and Colin Napier have all been formally warned after incidents that traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt has said "tarnished the repute of the operator".

It highlighted an incident where one vehicle in service lost a wheel. 

McGill's, which is said to operate 600 vehicles, has received a £75,000 financial penalty over failures in buses turning up on time or at all.

The firm, which employs more than 800 staff across its headquarters and depots, celebrated a pre-tax profit of £1.4 million, despite an industry-wide slowdown.

The traffic commissioner report publishes six pages of tweets of complaints between December 2018 and June this year, about buses either not turning up or being severely delayed.

Many responses from McGill's referenced "higher than normal technical issues", which led to an official examination of the impact that maintenance issues might have had on operations.

One complainer tweeted in February this year that one service operated once during the whole week and questioned: "how a bus can break down every day".

It was discovered the operator received 38 notices over the last five years, with 21 in the last two, recording a "mixture of internal defects with more significant maintenance issues".

Mr Turfitt said he had "some concerns" about the way Preventative Maintenance Inspections may have been carried out, saying a number of "driver detectable" defects were found to have been left to safety inspections.

A new engineering structure was presented at the inquiry that "appears to be an acceptance of previous weaknesses in driver defect reporting also".

McGill's also referred to quarterly depot reviews to exercise oversight at a local level.

It is to undertake a Full Compliance Audit to be submitted to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner in Edinburgh by April 30 next year.

It is also to appoint two further Certificate of Professional Competence holders to be appointed as transport managers by the end of the year.

Traffic commissioner Mr Turfitt said none of the three transport managers was devoted solely to the tasks of a transport manager.

Mr Turfitt said: "My concern is the level of supervision which is evident from the events and findings to which I have referred.”

He said he was satisfied McGill's would comply to requirements in future, having brought in measures to meet concerns raised at the inquiry.

He added: "However, the incidents to which I have referred have tarnished the repute of the operator.

"The three named transport managers are formally warned accordingly: there can be no repeat of the identified shortcomings and no recurring impact on the running of registered services."

Ralph Roberts, managing director of McGill's Buses, said: "Following the review from the Traffic Commissioner, we accept the outcome of this process, which was detailed and fair in its full judgement.

"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 and recognised our significant investment record.

"That said, we recognise 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."