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Carluke Bus Services

The Biggar Bus c.1950

The Beginnings and Development of Its Bus Services

(Published in the Carluke High School magazine 1952.)
About the year 1922 certain individuals bought a motor car and, to help to pay for the licence of their car and for its upkeep, plied for hire to the general public, between Carluke and Lanark and Carluke and Wishaw.
At this time there were no fare stages or time-tables as known to-day. The first regular daily service was run by Mr John McDonald  of Braidwood, who owned a car and who later ran a small 14-seater bus which was chocolate brown in colour and had the proper termini painted on both sides.
It was called the “Pioneer.” Carluke people quickly took advantage of this service because of the distance to the railway station.

 So successful was this venture that it was not long before a number of buses similar to Mr McDonald’s were plying for hire on the same route and keen competition ensued. A 6d fare was charged from  Carluke to Lanark and Carluke to Wishaw, but Mr McDonald, who by this time had two or three more buses and was running a fairly regular service, introduced a return fare of 9d.

In 1924, all the bus owners formed themselves into a company to run a more frequent service. They called themselves the A1 Service, Most of these buses had romantic and picturesque names, such as “The Princess,” “ Majestic,” "Dauntless,” “ Sweet Afton,” “ Bonnie Doon,” “ The Iiittle Flower,” “ Covenanter,” “Rob Roy,” “The Swallow,” etc.


SMT bus in High Street c.1974

Other buses of the A1 Service ran on other routes, such as Shotts and Glasgow via Hamilton and Newmains and Glasgow via Blantyre, and all ran in opposition to Lanarkshire Tramways Company Ltd., who ran tramcars from Larkhall and Newmains, to Cambuslang via Blantyre and to Uddingston until, because of the upkeep of the track, they ultimately withdrew the trams and ran buses, retaining, by Act of Parliament, certain rights of the road, extending for a 10-mile radius around each terminus.


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Created before 2012