Paul McGowan MD of First Scotland East
On Tuesday 15 November our members were joined by Paul McGowan MD of First Scotland East for a Business Breakfast at the newly refurbished Hilton Edinburgh Carlton.
Paul has built a successful career in the transport industry having worked throughout the UK in the regulated market of London and the deregulated market in England and Scotland and has a clear passion for the customer and the job at hand. He quoted the following ‘80% of public transport journeys are undertaken by bus versus 20% by rail, with the subsidy of £0.25 per person for bus versus £9.40 per person for rail, plus environmentally the bus is cleaner, particularly given our modern fleet.’
First Scotland East aim to grow turnover from the £35m level with their 800+ staff and over 300 vehicles. They are an important employer in the region of Borders, Stirling and East Lothian, with their base in Larbert.
Paul and his team have worked hard to improve customer perception and keep narrowing the gap between the reality and perception of their business. They have focused on improving their customer segmentation, staff engagement, community engagement and their business model.
The First Group were voted 1st out of 63 bus companies in the national customer satisfaction survey; 4th out of 11 in Scotland. They were awarded the coveted Silver Wrench award for their engineering and depot management. Paul highlighted First as a well run and energised business clearly committed to providing safe and efficient travel in their areas – they are an asset to the Scottish business landscape.