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SCOTTISH independents are increasing their market penetration, helped by the 1980 Transport Act, reports a special correspondent.
Bennett's of Kilwinning has started its Ardrossan-Glasgow express service (CM, March 20), using a £53,000 Leyland coach, and reported 35-passenger loads on morning and evening commuter runs. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon journeys were very lightly loaded when the service started.
It only carries traffic between Central Ayrshire towns and Glasgow, and does not take advantage of the removal of Strathclyde PTE's monopoly on city traffic.
A direct Ayr-to-Glasgow commuter service has been started by John Shennan, of Drongan, in Ayrshire, with a £2.75 return fare, and two return journeys daily.
A more ambitious project is a group of deregulated services in the Highlands, which are provided by Newton's of Dingwall. These link Inverness with Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Aberdeen, and Ullapool. The Glasgow service is operated jointly with Allender Coaches, of Milngavie.
And Stagecoach, of Perth has invested £280,000 in two 71-seat Neoplan Skyliner double-deckers for its Aberdeen-Glasgow. and Aberdeen-London routes. Both have video, toilets, and galleys.