Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Scottish Motor Traction Co

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August 1928.
August 1928.
July 1938.

of 49 Queen Street, Edinburgh


1905 The company was registered on June 14th, to establish services by motor omnibuses in Edinburgh and other places throughout Scotland. [1]

1906. Successfully sued the Motor Car Emporium for failing to deliver buses that it had ordered.[2]

From 1913 to 1924 the company built nearly 100 Lothians.

1914 Automobile engineers and repairers. Specialities: general motor car and accessories (dealers and repairers); motor bus and charabanc proprietors; agents for Maudslay, Minerva, Phoenix and Sizaire-Naudin cars and Lacre commercial vehicles. Employees 300. [3]

1920s Acquired Cottin and Desgouttes

1929 New company incorporated to acquire a company of the same name.

1929 Acquired Alexander's Motor Services

1930 Its operations were re-financed through share subscription [4]. Shareholdings by LMS and LNER with which close working relations had been agreed.

SMT grew partly through the acquisition of smaller companies.

Eventually the company controlled most of the public-service passenger-carrying industry in Scotland south of Inverness.

Operations were decentralised to local areas, such as Central SMT in Lanarkshire (with red buses) and Western SMT (in south-west Scotland), whilst the east of Scotland services remained as SMT until the early 1960s

1949 The bus operations were nationalised by the Attlee government, being acquired by the British Transport Commission[5]. The company continued the rest of its business, operating in the fields of vehicle sales and service as well as a finance company - see S. M. T. Sales and Service Co

Scottish Bus Operations

1961 The Scottish Omnibuses Group (Holdings) Ltd was formed to take control of the British Transport Commission's bus operating subsidiaries in Scotland.

Early 1960s: the title Eastern Scottish was adopted in the east of Scotland (operating green buses). The legal name of Eastern Scottish was changed to Scottish Omnibuses Ltd.

1963 Following the demise of the British Transport Commission, the SMT bus operations became part of the state-owned Scottish Bus Group.

1969 Scottish Bus Group became the Scottish Transport Group following the addition of ferry services.

1985 The Transport Act 1985 led to the deregulation of bus services across the UK, followed by privatisation of the Scottish Transport Group subsidiaries.

1991 Western Scottish (formerly Western SMT) was sold to its local management

Following privatisation, Eastern Scottish briefly reverted to its former name SMT.

1994 Western Scottish was bought out by the Stagecoach Group, which renamed it Stagecoach West Scotland.

Eastern Scottish was bought out by the First Group, who re-branded it First Edinburgh, and introduced the First Group corporate pink, purple and white livery to replace the former green.

Scottish Motor Traction Co

1949 Following nationalisation of the bus operations, the company continued the rest of its business, operating in the fields of vehicle sales and service as well as a finance company - see S. M. T. Sales and Service Co

1956 Acquired Alexander Findlay and Co, construction engineers of Motherwell[6]

1956 Acquired by Sears Holdings[7]

1957 Shaw and Kilburn was acquired by Sears and became a subsidiary[8]. Both SMT and Shaws were dealers in Vauxhall cars and had suffered from interruptions in supply[9]

Within Sears Holdings, SMT were vehicle dealers in Scotland and Shaw and Kilburn dealers in England

1966 Scottish Motor Traction Co, including Shaw and Kilburn and S. M. T. Sales and Service, were transferred from Sears Holdings to Sears Engineering[10]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. Motor Traction, 2 May 1906, p. 385.
  3. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  4. The Times, Tuesday, Jan 14, 1930
  5. [1] Wikipedia
  6. The Times, Mar 27, 1956
  7. The Times, Jun 16, 1956
  8. The Times , Feb 12, 1957
  9. The Times, May 13, 1958
  10. The Times, Aug 29, 1966
  • Ian Allan - British Buses Since 1900 - Aldridge and Morris