Renfrewshire Independents by David Devoy
Western SMT became the dominant bus operator in Renfrewshire after the Second World War, buying out competitors, but they never had a monopoly, with independents and other operators still running services. Independents such as Cunningham's, Graham's, Garner's, Smith's, McGill's and Patons' were protected as no-one else could operate on their routes without a licence, but some fell by the wayside and it was almost impossible for the others to expand. Following bus de-regulation in 1986, competition increased dramatically. Greenock became famous for competition, with operators such as Inverclyde, Pride of the Clyde, Robert Wilson and Alex Kean coming and going at a furious pace. In Paisley, too, new companies joined the fray including Bridge Coaches, Hutchison's and Quarriers. However, the toughening of laws and regulations to curb poor maintenance and ensure services were being run and standards kept up caused the numbers of independents to contract again. In this book, David Devoy takes a look at the Renfrewshire independents who `had a go' over the years.