Central SMT

Monklands 2002

This page looks at what became of the depot and the terminals used by Central in Airdrie and Coatbridge. All photos were taken on 11 May 2002.

Clarkston Depot : The main road in this view is Connor Street, Clarkston, Airdrie. The signs on the fence indicated that the new housing on the right was to be known as "Katrine Park Gate". As the gate to Katharine Park faces the bottom of Connor Street, I think there had been a bit of estate agent's licence! The signs also mark the position of the main entrance to the former Eastern Scottish depot at this location (depot code H), which passed to Central Scottish at the Scottish Bus Group re-organisation in 1985.

Original Airdrie Bus Station : Airdrie Sheriff Court was built on the site of the original Airdrie Bus Station. This view was taken looking north-east from Gartlea Road, which was re-aligned at this point at the same time. The original Gartlea Road would have run parallel to the one shown, passing through the western edge of the building. Central and Western SMT buses would have come along Gartlea Road from the right, would have turned right into the station, and parked facing onto Graham Street. They then turned left into Graham Street on departure. Broomfield Park, original home of the now-defunct Airdrie Football Club, was situated just out of sight, to the right of the view shown. That site is now occupied by a supermarket.

'New' Airdrie Bus Station : By this time, the replacement bus station had itself closed. At onetime, the saw-tooth bays played host to :-

 - green Eastern Scottish buses on Airdrie local services;
 - blue Alexander (Midland) buses on services to Falkirk via either Cumbernauld or Slamannan;
 - red Central SMT buses bound for Strathaven or East Kilbride, via Motherwell and Hamilton;
 - red Western SMT buses on the long-haul to Ayr;
 - independent Golden Eagle services to Shotts via Salsburgh.

In addition to normal service work, it was a calling point on the Fife Scottish Glenrothes - London service, operated by blue and white Alexander M-type Leopards and Duple Goldliner Tigers. Later, as a replacement for the above, it became a calling point for the Northern Scottish Aberdeen - London service, operated by double-deck Metroliners. Furthermore, it was the starting point for Central's Blackpool express and a pick-up point for selected Eastern Scottish extended tours.
Ross Street Terminus, Coatbridge : Almost unbelievably, the traditional Central SMT Ross St terminus in Coatbridge still survived, twenty years after the last service bus called there. Terminating services dropped passengers off in Ross St itself, just before the point where the photos were taken. Buses then turned right into Buchanan Street, then left into the turning circle.
Departing services pulled round to a stop at a green shelter, located in the centre of the first picture. From there, they departed via Ross St once again.

The second picture shows the terrible danger awaiting any driver who had ideas about deviating from the correct route. The Buchanan Street railway bridge, just past the entrance to the turning circle, was little more than 10' high!