Barrhead bus passengers were left shocked after local bus firm McGill’s abruptly closed down and deleted both its Twitter and Facebook travel information accounts, blaming ‘abusive and slanderous’ comments posted by users.
The announcement was made on the firm’s Twitter feed on Wednesday 8th August around 2.30pm, with the account being deleted less than an hour later.
The messages announcing the closure read: “Goodbye Twitter! We're sorry to let you know that,as of today Wed 8 Aug, we will deactivate our Facebook page and Twitter feeds.”
“Goodbye Twitter #2! No more tweets from today due to the actions of a minority of users who chose to post abusive and slanderous comments.”
“Au revoir Twitter! Unconstructive and demotivating postings by a minority has led us to make today our last day of tweets.”
After the announcement, a number of passengers quickly responded, criticising the decision to remove the travel information service. Wilma Duff tweeted: “Missing the point of social media, eh! Am tweeting this from a McGills bus.”
And Billy McDiarmid said: “@scotrail @glasgowsubway both great examples of good SM use. McGills should take note. If they had not deleted their account.”
McGill’s had used the Twitter account to keep passengers updated on delays and changes to services, holiday timetables and price changes and ticket offers – before both accounts were suddenly closed, leaving the firm’s website and phone line as information points.
The company, who run the only direct commuter bus service from Barrhead to Glasgow during the day, had come in for criticism from passengers angry at the firm’s decision to run a Sunday service on Monday 6th August due to the Paisley Fair holiday – despite the number 3 route that runs from Barrhead to Glasgow not running through Paisley, or crossing into Renfrewshire – leaving many passengers travelling to Glasgow for work without a service.
A statement on the company’s website said: “We're sorry to let you know that, as of today Wednesday 8 August, we have deactivated our Facebook page and Twitter feeds.
“This decision was taken as a direct result of the actions of a minority of users who chose to post abusive and slanderous comments regarding McGill's. We found the postings to be unconstructive and demotivating for our hardworking team here at McGill's. We apologise to those users who found the regular service updates useful.
“Service update information will now be available only on our website, or from our customer services team on 08000 51 56 51 (during office hours, Monday to Friday).”
The ‘news updates’ section of the McGill’s website has only had five updates since the beginning of July, including the announcement of the closure of the Twitter feed.
What do you think of the decision – and of public transport in Barrhead? Post your comments and have your say here on s1barrhead