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Your online resource for all things Western Scottish.

We aim to create as comprehensive a history of the former Western Scottish bus company as possible and would love to hear from anyone who could provide either written or photographic material for inclusion on the site. If you can help please get in touch via our Contact Us Page.

Make sure and register as a member if you wish to comment on any of our posts or download Western Enthusiasts Club newsletters from our Features pages.

We hope you enjoy a nostalgic journey through the history of one of Scotland’s most famous bus companies.


Got a Western Scottish related question?

Why not post it on our DISCUSS page and hopefully one of our members will be able to provide an answer for you. Your question or query could be anything from a depot you used to work at, a technical bus related one or maybe just something that’s been bugging you for years and you never got round to getting it answered.

Latest Questions

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A new Seddon T type livery

© Image Copyright – Unknown

Having adorned a black, white and three toned grey stripe livery since January 1981, Western decided to upgrade its entire Seddon T type fleet starting in January 1988.

The upgrade was intended to bring the vehicles up to a more “Dual Purpose” standard and included repaint into a new, and very attractive, black, white, grey and red livery with the interiors being provided with an all new dark grey soft trim. To complete the refurbishment the coach seating was also re-covered in a two tone grey moquette with a red stripe and the end result was both complimentary and striking to these already 10 year old vehicles.

The first T type to receive this new refit was Kilmarnock depot’s KS478 (DSD978V) and was, ironically, the Seddon T Type which adorned a unique version of the earlier dual purpose livery which retained the gold ‘Western’ script fleet name.

The second bus to receive the refit was Stranraer depot’s SS34 (DSD934V) with this bus being depicted in the image above collecting passengers in Kircudbright whilst working 76 service between Stranraer and Dumfries.

The refit dates for the Seddon T type fleet was:

DSD934V02/88DSD951V04/89DSD967VNot converted
DSD935V05/89DSD952V12/88DSD968VNot converted
DSD936V06/89DSD953V05/88DSD969VNot converted
DSD942V06/88DSD958VNot convertedDSD974V04/88
DSD943V06/88DSD959VNot convertedDSD975V03/88
DSD945V06/88DSD961VNot convertedDSD977V07/88
DSD946VNot convertedDSD962V07/89DSD978V01/88
DSD949V12/88DSD965VNot convertedDSD981V06/88



  1. ASD838T
  3. ASD838T

    Would loved to have seen this in the traditional red and cream livery.

  4. ASD838T



The History

Find out more about the history of Western Scottish Omnibuses and follow the company through it’s Scottish Bus Group days until it’s sale to the Stagecoach group in 1994.

The Depots

With an operating area covering as far north as the Island of Islay and as far south as Carlisle in England it’s easy to understand why Western required a lot of depots to house its fleet.

Find the buses

Search our Western Scottish vehicle database and discover specific bus chassis & body numbers, seating capacity, allocation history, company transfers and lots more.

Preserved Buses

Western Scottish had a long and distinguished history within the transport industry and, luckily for us, a wide variety of former vehicles have been restored for preservation.


When was Western created?

Western Scottish Omnibuses Ltd was a bus operating subsidiary of the Scottish Transport Group formed in June 1985 from Western SMT Company Ltd and operated until 1997, when it became Western Buses Ltd. This company is now a part of Stagecoach West Scotland.

Where were Western’s depots?

Westerns main depots were located at Kilmarnock, Ayr, Cumnock, Stranraer and Dumfries as well sub depots at Annan, Ardrossan, Carlisle, Girvan and Whithorn. Vehicles were also ‘out-stationed’ at Kirkcudbright, Newton Stewart, Lockerbie, Port William, Penpont and Sanquhar. The company also established bases on the Isle of Arran and the Dunoon peninsula.

Where did Western operate?

Western Scottish was the largest bus operator in South West Scotland and was responsible for bus services in the towns of Kilmarnock, Ayr, Cumnock, Girvan, Stranraer and Dumfries as well as rural services, interurban connections and cross-border journeys into England.

Did privatisation affect Western?

Western Scottish was purchased by its management and employees in October 1991 for £1m with an immediate onward sale of the Clydeside operations and their depots to their management and employees as Clydeside 2000 plc (with Luton & District taking a 24% stake). The depot at Largs was closed, and Rothesay depot remained with Western Scottish. The Ardrossan depot closed shortly afterward.

What livery did the buses wear?

The traditional, smart red and cream livery that Western Scottish vehicles wore gave way to a black, white and two-tone grey scheme shortly after the company was created. This livery was short lived, however, and a black, white and red scheme took over within a couple of years.

What happened to Western?

Stagecoach bought over Western in July 1994 for £6m. Trading as Stagecoach Western Scottish, the company adopted the corporate Stagecoach white with red, blue and orange stripes and began expanding. Arran Transport was purchased in October 1994 followed by the purchase of Clyde Coast in 1995 & the bus operations of Dodds of Troon, AA Buses & Shuttle Buses in 1997.

We would like to extend our thanks to all who have contributed to the creation & upkeep of this site, in particular:

Colin Devine,  John Sinclair,  Robbie Inglis,  Donald MacRae, David Toy, Barry Luebke, Gordon Bain,  Gary Ward,  Jim Henderson,  Robert Ted Devereux,  The Western Enthusiasts Club,  The Western SMT Facebook page, The westerN smt co ltd Facebook page, Stagecoach West Scotland and the Glasgow Vintage Vehicles Trust.

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