STIRLING bus services will be driven by local priorities, according to incoming transport bosses.

McGill's Buses recently acquired Forth Valley routes after purchasing all business under the First Scotland East banner.

Sandy and James Easdale, owners of McGill's Buses, have since vowed to empower management at the Larbert and Bannockburn depots to lead with a local footing.

The move follows a period of frustration with services in Forth Valley, which has seen representatives slamming the previous operator for frequent cancellations.

McGill's services in the area, which also include Clacks and Falkirk, will be branded as McGill's Midland Bluebird and the company said it will work to rejuvenate every area of the business in the coming months and years.

James Easdale, chairman of McGill's Group, said: "As witnessed following our recent deal for Xplore Dundee and in our partnership with FlixBus, we are determined to invest operationally to ensure our customers receive a service they value and can enjoy using.

"We believe in empowering local teams to deliver for their local communities rather than a centralised, top-down approach – we want passengers to have an affinity with their local buses and one step in that process is the introduction of iconic liveries for the fleet."

Indeed, the company last week revealed two liveries, reflecting on iconic buses of the past.

The company has taken control of bus depots in Larbert, Bannockburn, Balfron and Livingston and all of the fleet formerly owned by First Scotland East.

Edinburgh's popular open-top bus tour, Bright Bus, is also included in the purchase.

Around 550 staff have moved to McGill's, taking the company's total staff to more than 2,000.

Sandy Easdale, director of McGill's Group, said: "As seen across our businesses and in McGill's Group, we have a clear vision for growth and profitability and we are able to conclude deals speedily and with the minimum of fuss.

"The opportunity to bring First Scotland East businesses into McGill's was always an attractive proposition to us and it now gives us a presence across the central belt.

"Whilst others may be shying away from expansion given the unsettled economic picture, we are continually seeking new opportunities to invest in transport, construction and property."