Tribute after bus boss Eddie Coakley dies

Eddie Coakley
Eddie Coakley

Tributes have been paid after the sudden death of Bellshill businessman Eddie Coakley, one of the leading bus operators in Lanarkshire.

The 57-year-old died in hospital at the weekend after being admitted for surgery.

Mr Coakley ran a fleet of buses from Motherwell’s Braidhurst Industrial Estate and for many years was the main competitor to the giant First operator on routes in and around Motherwell, Bellshill and Hamilton.

His business interests also included the Strath pub in Bellshill and the now-closed Eagle Inn in Motherwell.

Bellshill councillor Harry McGuigan said he was saddened to hear of the bus operator’s death.

He said: “Eddie was a businessman, but he wasn’t consumed by the business - he also cared for his community.

“I remember when people in the west end of Bellshill were without a bus service and Eddie diverted his buses off his normal route for them.

“He didn’t get any extra money for it, but that was Eddie - always anxious to solve a problem.”

More on this story in the Times & Speaker, out on Wednesday.