Stagecoach Group

Stagecoach Group plc (LSESGC) is a transport group based in Perth, Scotland, operating buses, trains, trams and express coaches in the United Kingdom. The group was founded in 1980 by current chairman Brian Souter, his sister Ann Gloag, and her former husband Robin.

The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, where it is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Stagecoach Group plc
Public company
Traded asLSESGC
HeadquartersPerth, Scotland
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Brian Souter, Chairman
Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive
ProductsLocal and express bus service, intercity bus service, franchise rail and tram service, sightseeing services
Revenue£3,226.8 million (2018)[1]
£179.9 million (2018)[1]
£63.8 million (2018)[1]
Number of employees
35,987 (2018)[1]


Stagecoach Southdown 501
Stagecoach Southdown Alexander Dash bodied Dennis Dart in the previous livery

Stagecoach was born out of deregulation of the British express coach market in the early 1980s, though its roots can be traced back to 1976 when Ann Gloag and her husband Robin set up a small motor caravan and minibus hire business called Gloagtrotter. Ann's accountant brother Brian Souter joined the firm and expanded the business into bus hire. Robin Gloag subsequently sold his shareholding in the business and ceased any involvement in 1982 with the collapse of his marriage to Ann. The Transport Act 1980, which freed express services of 35 miles and over from regulation by the Traffic Commissioner, brought new opportunities for the Perth based company and services were launched from Dundee to London using second-hand Neoplan coaches. For a while, they offered a very personal service with Brian Souter doing the driving and Ann Gloag making up sandwiches and snacks for the passengers.[2][3]

Successfully competing against the then state-owned National Express and Scottish Citylink, the company grew significantly between 1981 and 1985, when Stagecoach entered local bus operation with the acquisition of McLennan of Spittalfield, near Perth. Its early success allowed Stagecoach to take advantage of the privatisation of the national bus groups. Several firms were purchased from London Regional Transport, the National Bus Company, Scottish Bus Group and various city councils. The company consolidated its operations during the 1990s by purchasing ex NBC and SBG bus companies that had been purchased by management and employees when privatised. Stagecoach left the long distance express coach market in 1988 when it sold its operations to National Express.[4]

During the privatisation of British Rail, Porterbrook was formed as one of three rolling stock companies owning around a third of passenger railway locomotives, multiple units and coaching stock running on Network Rail's system which is leased to various train operators. It was sold to a management buyout before being purchased by Stagecoach in August 1996.[5][6] In April 2000 Stagecoach sold Porterbrook to Abbey National for £773 million.[7]

In 1997 Stagecoach won the franchise to operate the Sheffield Supertram system, from the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, who own the system. Stagecoach bought the remaining 27 years of a 30-year franchise, which expires in 2024, and run the operation under the Stagecoach Supertram brand, having responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the tram system. When Stagecoach took over the system, it was struggling, both financially and in terms of attracting passengers, but it is now an extremely popular and successful operation.[8] Stagecoach took another turn in 1998, when it purchased Scotland's Prestwick Airport for £41 million. By the summer of 1999, the company was rumoured to have been offered some £80 million for Prestwick. They sold the airport in January 2001 to concentrate on surface transport.[9]

On 21 November 2005 Stagecoach announced the sale of its New Zealand operations to Infratil.[10] On 14 December 2005 Stagecoach purchased Barnsley based Traction Group (Yorkshire Traction) for £26m, and also assume Traction's £11m debt. Traction operated 840 buses in South and West Yorkshire (Yorkshire Traction, Barnsley & District, Yorkshire Terrier), Lincolnshire (RoadCar) and Angus (Strathtay Scottish). Traction was the largest remaining privately owned independent bus operator in the UK.[11]

Following the sale of its London bus operations to Macquarie Bank in 2006, Stagecoach UK Bus concentrated on the bus market outside the UK capital, focusing on organic growth and exploring acquisition options.[12] In September 2005, following competition with its Megabus coach operation, Stagecoach launched a joint venture with Scottish Citylink coaches. After a competition enquiry, in October 2006 Stagecoach was instructed to sell some of the Scottish coach services.[13] Stagecoach are also active in the rail industry, currently having a 49% stake in Virgin Rail Group. In 2007 the group were successful in their bid for the new East Midlands franchise which had been created by amalgamating the previous Midland Mainline franchise with the eastern part of the former Central Trains franchise.[14]

In July 2007, Stagecoach commenced operating the Manchester Metrolink tram network.[15] In January 2009, Stagecoach bought Preston Bus, a former rival in the Lancashire area.[16] In November 2009 the Competition Commission ordered Stagecoach to sell Preston Bus after it had adversely affected competition in the area.[17]

In October 2010, Stagecoach expanded further by re-acquiring East London and Selkent, Stagecoach's former London bus operations.[18] In August 2011, Stagecoach sold its Manchester Metrolink concession to RATP Group halfway through its ten-year contract to operate the network.[19] In December 2013, Stagecoach bought King's Lynn based Norfolk Green.[20] In March 2015, Virgin Trains East Coast, in which Stagecoach holds a 90% shareholding, commenced operating the InterCity East Coast franchise.[21][22] The franchise was terminated on 23 June 2018 after it was revealed that Stagecoach had overbid.[23]

In December 2018, it was announced that private equity house, Variant would acquire Stagecoach Group's US division for $271 million. The sale was completed in April 2019. [24][25]

In April 2019, Stagecoach was disqualified from participating in three rail franchise competitions by the Department for Transport after it submitted non-compliant bids for the East Midlands, South Eastern and West Coast Partnership franchises.[26]


Key people

Stagecoach Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange, though company chairman Brian Souter and his sister Ann Gloag are the largest shareholders with a combined 25.9% shareholding at April 2013.[27]


Group Structure (at September 2011)[28]

Stagecoach Group
UK Bus
North America
National Transport
East Scotland
West Scotland
North East
South Lancashire &
Virgin Rail
East Midlands
East Midlands
Cumbria & North Lancashire
Sheffield Supertram
Cambridge &
East Kent
South West
South Yorkshire

UK operating companies

The following is a breakdown of the Stagecoach operating divisions. The centre of each operating region is shown in parentheses. Legal company names are listed alongside the trading names for that company.

Bus division

Bus division operations are as follows:[29]

  • Stagecoach South West – Stagecoach controls operations in Devon through Stagecoach Devon, consisting of (as of May 2003) Stagecoach Devon Limited. The trading name of this operation is Stagecoach in Devon. The headquarters are in Exeter.
  • Stagecoach East – Stagecoach controls operations in the East through Stagecoach East. It consists of Cambus Ltd. Trading names are Stagecoach in Bedford, Stagecoach in Cambridge, Stagecoach in Huntingdonshire, Stagecoach in Norfolk and Stagecoach in Peterborough. The headquarters are in Cambridge. (As of September 2010 Stagecoach in Northants transferred to a new Midland division.) Stagecoach in the Fens (Huntingdon) now operates the longest Guided busway in the world with the fleet for the busway running on bio fuel.
  • Stagecoach East Midlands – Stagecoach controls operations in the East Midlands area through Stagecoach East Midlands. It consists of Lincolnshire Road Car Co Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach in Bassetlaw, Stagecoach in Mansfield, Stagecoach in South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Grimsby-Cleethorpes, Stagecoach in Hull and Stagecoach in Lincolnshire. The headquarters are in Lincoln.
  • Stagecoach East Scotland – Stagecoach controls operations in the east of Scotland, comprising Fife Scottish Omnibuses Ltd, Bluebird Buses Ltd, JW Coaches Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach in Perth, Stagecoach Bluebird, Stagecoach in Fife and Strathtay. It also operated the new Forth Fast hovercraft service from Kirkcaldy to Portobello. The headquarters are in Kirkcaldy as of 2009.
  • Stagecoach North Scotland – Stagecoach controls operations in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen city, Moray and the Scottish Highlands. The Highlands business followed the takeover of The Rapsons Group (Orkney Coaches/Highland Country Buses) in 2008, adding to the network already operated in the City of Inverness by Stagecoach, consisting of Highland Country Buses Limited. It trades as Stagecoach in the Highlands, Stagecoach in Orkney (Kirkwall depot & outstations), and Stagecoach in Lochaber (Fort William depot), Stagecoach in Skye (Portree depot & outstation), Stagecoach in Inverness (Aviemore, Inverness and Tain depots) and Stagecoach in Caithness (Thurso depot & outstations). The North Scotland business also manages Stagecoach Bluebird which operates in Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen city and Moray. The North Scotland headquarters are in Inverness, with some commercial HQ functions also run from Aberdeen.
Stagecoach East London bus 17433 (LX51 FKG) 2001 Dennis Trident 2 Alexander ALX400, Ludgate Circus, route 15, 20 May 2011
East London Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 in London in May 2011
  • Stagecoach London – Stagecoach purchased the East London and Selkent divisions of London Buses when they were privatised in 1994. Both operate tendered services for Transport for London. Deciding to focus on organic growth for its UK bus operations, and citing the inflexibility of the London tendering system, the London bus operations were sold to Macquarie Group on 31 August 2006 for £263.6m. Macquarie continued to use the Stagecoach brand for a limited period under licence, and Stagecoach provided administrative and other support functions for a transitional period of 12 months from the sale. Macquarie rebranded both into their original East London and Selkent identities, albeit updated. In October 2010 Stagecoach reacquired its old London operations from Macquarie Bank for £59.5m with both operations once again rebranded as Stagecoach.[30]
  • Stagecoach Manchester & Wigan – Stagecoach controls operations in Greater Manchester through Stagecoach Manchester, comprising Greater Manchester Buses (South) Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach in Manchester, Stagecoach in Wigan and Magic Bus. The headquarters are in Stockport.
  • Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire – Stagecoach controls operations in the South Lancs, Merseyside and Liverpool areas through Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire. The legal names of the group is Glenvale Transport. Trading names include Stagecoach in Merseyside and Magic Bus. The headquarters are in Liverpool.
  • Stagecoach Midlands – Stagecoach Midlands controls operations in Warwickshire and Northamptonshire areas through Stagecoach in Warwickshire & Stagecoach in Northants comprising Midland Red (South) Ltd (all depots). Trading names include Stagecoach in Warwickshire, Stagecoach in Northamptonshire, and Goldine. The headquarters are in Northampton.
  • Stagecoach North East – Stagecoach controls operations in the north east of England through Stagecoach North East, comprising Busways Travel Services Ltd and Cleveland Transit Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach on Teesside, Stagecoach in Hartlepool, Stagecoach in Newcastle, Stagecoach in South Shields and Stagecoach in Sunderland. The headquarters are in Sunderland.
  • Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire – Stagecoach controls most operations in the north west of England through Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire, comprising Cumberland Motor Services Ltd and Ribble Motor Services Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach in Cumbria, Stagecoach in Lancaster and Stagecoach in Lancashire. The headquarters are in Carlisle.
  • Stagecoach Oxfordshire – Stagecoach controls operations in Oxfordshire area through Stagecoach in Oxfordshire, comprising Thames Transit Ltd and Midland Red (South) Ltd (Banbury depot). Trading names include Stagecoach in Oxfordshire and Oxford Tube. The headquarters are in Oxford.
  • Stagecoach Sheffield – Stagecoach controls bus and tram operations in the Sheffield area of England through Stagecoach Sheffield, comprising Yorkshire Terrier, South Yorkshire Supertram Ltd and Andrews (Sheffield) Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach in Sheffield and Stagecoach Supertram. The headquarters are in Sheffield.
  • Stagecoach South – Stagecoach controls operations in the South of England through Stagecoach South, comprising Southdown Motor Services Ltd, Hampshire Bus Company Ltd and Stagecoach (South) Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach in Hants & Surrey, Stagecoach in Hampshire, Stagecoach in Portsmouth and Stagecoach in the South Downs. The headquarters are in Chichester.
  • Stagecoach South East – Stagecoach's operations in East Kent and East Sussex are managed as Stagecoach South East, comprising the East Kent Road Car Company Ltd (established 1916). Fleetnames used are Stagecoach in East Kent, Stagecoach in Eastbourne and Stagecoach in Hastings. The additional Stagecoach in East Sussex name is used on joint Eastbourne & Hastings publicity but is not carried on vehicles. The headquarters are at the Bus Station in Canterbury. Notable operations include the Canterbury Park and Ride, Canterbury Unibus (using bio buses), Dotto trains in Eastbourne and National Express services between London and the East Kent coast, using 13 Volvo/Plaxton Elite coaches.
  • Stagecoach South Wales or Stagecoach De Cymru / South Wales – Stagecoach controls operations in Wales through Stagecoach Wales, comprising Red & White Services Ltd, The trading name for these operations is Stagecoach in South Wales and Stagecoach De Cymru. The headquarters are in Cwmbran.
  • Stagecoach West – Stagecoach controls operations in the West of England through Stagecoach West, comprising Cheltenham & Gloucester Omnibus Company Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach in Cheltenham, Stagecoach in Swindon, Stagecoach in Gloucester, Stagecoach in the Cotswolds, Stagecoach in the Wye and Dean. The headquarters are in Gloucester.
  • Stagecoach West Scotland – Stagecoach controls operations in the west of Scotland through Stagecoach West Scotland, comprising Western Buses Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach Western, Stagecoach A1 Service, Stagecoach in Glasgow. The headquarters are in Ayr.
  • Stagecoach Yorkshire – Stagecoach controls operations in the Yorkshire area through Stagecoach Yorkshire, comprising Yorkshire Traction Co Ltd. Trading names include Stagecoach in Yorkshire, Stagecoach in Sheffield & Stagecoach in Chesterfield. The headquarters are in Barnsley.


Stagecoach Oxfordshire 50213 OU09 FNG rear
Oxford Tube Van Hool T9 Astromega on the M40 in August 2009

Apart from the ordinary bus operations and no-frills services, the UK bus division has the following brands that extend across operating divisions.

  • Stagecoach Express – an express coach service that operates mainly between towns and cities where Stagecoach operate (e.g. Sheffield to Chesterfield). It tends not to compete with National Express like Megabus, and in some cases tickets are available through the National Express website.[31]
  • Oxford Tube – an express coach service offering high frequency 24-hour services to London, operated by Stagecoach Oxfordshire.[32]
  • Citi – some urban networks have received Citi branding, such as Cambridge, Exeter, Gloucester, Peterborough and Preston.[33]
  • Stagecoach Gold – a luxury bus service brand designed to attract middle class travellers to public transport, generally on the most important and high-profile routes within an area served by Stagecoach. Gold buses typically feature a special blue and gold colour scheme, leather seats, and on-board Wi-Fi access. Both single-decker and double-decker gold buses are used.[34]
  • Stagecoach SimpliBus operates in the East Midlands.[35]

Rail Division

Light Rail Division

Sheffield Supertram – Stagecoach has operated the Sheffield Supertram under a concession from the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive since 1997.[40] Its average daily ridership is 33,700, equalling more than 12 million per year, well above expectations. There are currently three lines, and future plans include schemes to Rotherham, Dore, Fulwood and Maltby. However, following consultations, a reduced scheme with extensions to Rotherham and Broomhill is being considered.[41]

Former operations

Stagecoach Rail

In 1992, shortly before the privatisation of British Rail, Stagecoach Rail briefly operated a modest InterCity operation between Aberdeen and London. Two British Railways Mark 2 passenger carriages were re-branded in Stagecoach colours and attached to a scheduled British Rail InterCity sleeper service.[42]

Virgin CrossCountry

Virgin Rail Group operated the CrossCountry franchise as Virgin CrossCountry from January 1997[43] until November 2007 when it passed to Arriva.[44]

Manchester Metrolink

In July 2007 Stagecoach took over the operation of Manchester Metrolink on a 10-year fixed-term management contract, beating competition from Keolis, Serco and Transdev, to make it the biggest tram operator in the UK.[45][46] This system was the first modern tram system in the United Kingdom, opening just before the Sheffield system in 1992. Nearly 18 million people ride on the system a year. Stagecoach sold the Metrolink business to RATP Group in August 2011.[47]

South West Trains

Virgin Trains East Coast

Virgin Trains East Coast, in which Stagecoach held a 90% shareholding, operated the InterCity East Coast franchise from March 2015 to June 2018.[21][22]


In 1999 Stagecoach purchased the school bus operations of Sunbus in the Cairns, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast regions of Queensland. These were sold in 2002.[51]

Hong Kong

Citybus MAN NL262 in Hong Kong in Stagecoach livery

In 1994 Stagecoach created a bus-operating subsidiary in Hong Kong which operated residential bus services. It ceased operation in April 1996.[52]

In 1999 Stagecoach planned to become the largest bus company in China through joint ventures, equity stakes and partnerships, and confirmed the £181m acquisition of Hong Kong's Citybus. Stagecoach acquired control of Citybus Group, which provided franchised bus services on Hong Kong Island and to and from Hong Kong International Airport as well as non-franchised services throughout Hong Kong, in March 1999 and then completed the privatisation of Citybus on 17 July 1999.[53]

In June 2003 the operation was sold to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, the parent company of the major rival operator New World First Bus.[54][55]


In November 1991 Stagecoach Holdings Limited (as it was named then), bought United Transport's shareholding in Kenya Bus Services Limited. During its tenure, Stagecoach rapidly expanded the fleet, introducing the Express Services and the modern double decker buses back on Kenyan roads. In October 1998 a consortium of investors led by Karanja Kabage as chairman acquired Kenya Bus Services Limited from Stagecoach Holdings which owned 95% of the business.[56]

New Zealand

Stagecoach New Zealand was a wholly owned part of the Stagecoach Group, which provided bus services in Auckland, Wellington and the Hutt Valley and nine ferry routes in Auckland. It was the largest bus company in New Zealand when sold. Stagecoach NZ started operations when the firm acquired Wellington City Transport, including the Hutt Valley suburban bus operations of the New Zealand Railways Road Services, branded CityLine, in the 1990s. Following this initial acquisition Stagecoach also purchased Eastbourne Buses, The Yellow Bus Company in Auckland and a controlling interest in Fullers Auckland. In November 2005, the business was sold to Infratil and rebranded as NZ Bus.[57]

North America

Stagecoach carried out bus operations in the northeastern and midwestern United States and in eastern Canada. Businesses were focused on commuter services, and included tour and charter, sightseeing, local, and school bus operations:

  • Coach USA – operating primarily in the northeastern United States providing subsidised transit services (primarily in Greater New York), sightseeing, and charter services, and in the midwestern United States with primarily charter and sightseeing services. Yellow school bus services are also provided by Coach USA in the state of Wisconsin.[58]
  • Megabus – discount express bus services radiating from Chicago and New York City. Like Megabus in the United Kingdom, most stops are made at street locations.[59]
  • Coach Canada – serving primarily Ontario and Quebec, where it operates interurban and chartered bus services, contract bus services in Durham, yellow school bus service in Durham Region and Peterborough County in Ontario, and sightseeing services in Montreal.[60]

In December 2018 Stagecoach announced it had agreed to sell all of its North American operations to Variant Equity Advisors with the deal concluded in April 2019.[25][61][62][63]


Stagecoach Portugal had its origins in the reprivatisation of Portuguese bus and coach operation, which had been nationalised after the 1974 Revolution. In 1990, the nationalised Rodoviária Nacional was split into ten components. In the capital, Lisbon, Rodoviária de Lisboa was the chief operator outside the city itself, where Carris provided city bus and tram services. The name of Rodoviária de Lisboa survived as part of the Barraqueiro bus company, but another part, serving the area to the west of Lisbon, became Stagecoach Portugal in 1995. A further portion still operates as Vimeca – Viação Mecânica de Carnaxide. In June 2001 Stagecoach announced the sale of their Portuguese operations to ScottURB for £14 million.[64]

Nordic countries

In October 1996, during Stagecoach's International buying spree, it made its most important international acquisition at the time, buying Swebus AB, the bus-company arm of the Swedish State Railways (SJ), for 1.2 billion kronor ($164 million), which also included operations in Denmark, Finland and Norway.[65] The operations in Norway included only city and regional traffic in three minor cities around lake Mjøsa, but several unsuccessful bids on operators in the Oslo area led to Stagecoach selling out to Norgesbuss in April 1997. The Danish operations never proved profitable, and were sold to Combus in autumn of 1997. The operations in Finland were more successful, and were in April 1998 renamed Stagecoach Finland. In spring of 1997, Swebus Express was started as an intercity coach service between several cities in southern parts of Sweden, sporting the Stagecoach livery of the time. Stagecoach in 1998 announced that it had bid for several rail franchises in Sweden. On 27 October 1999, Stagecoach revealed that it was going to sell Swebus to Concordia Bus for £100m, to refocus its bus operation on the United States and Asia.[66]

No-frills brands

Stagecoach operate a number of so-called "no-frills" services across the United Kingdom and the United States. Applying the business model of the low-cost carrier air lines, these services aim to offer cheaper alternatives to the established operators in the bus, coach and rail markets, by reducing costs, and offering extremely low fares for the earliest bookings, rising nearer the journey time:

Magic Bus

Stagecoach Manchester (Magicbus) 17614 V614DJA (8589270163)
Magic Bus Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 in Manchester in March 2013

Magic Bus was the first no-frills brand of Stagecoach. It was first used in red lettering on ex London Regional Transport AEC Routemasters, otherwise painted in Stagecoach stripes, in competition in Glasgow. Later, an allover blue with yellow lettering was adopted, on older service buses with simple fares and no travel passes, usually operated on routes with strong competition from other operators, most notably on the Manchester Piccadilly to East Didsbury Wilmslow Road bus corridor route in Manchester, but also in Newcastle upon Tyne and East Scotland (as Magic Mini). In 2008 Stagecoach Merseyside introduced a Magic Bus service competing with themselves and Arriva North West on the busy route 14 corridor, Magic Bus 14C runs every 7/8 minutes between City Centre and Broadway. By 2012, only the Manchester Magic Bus remained, these being upgraded from Volvo Olympians and Dennis Dragons to Alexander ALX400 and East Lancs bodied Dennis Trident 2s.[67]


Megabus 50245 SV12 DVW 2
Megabus Van Hool Astromega in September 2012

Megabus is a low cost, "no-frills" intercity bus service launched in the United Kingdom by Stagecoach in 2003, on 10 April 2006 in the United States, and in 2009 within Canada. Its main rival in the UK is National Express, who have had to lower their prices to compete with Megabus. In the US, Megabus/Eastern Shuttle's main rival is BoltBus, which is 50% owned by Stagecoach rival FirstGroup. In the UK, the Megabus network covers most of the island of Great Britain, although some routes offer only one journey per day. Originally operated using high capacity but older coach seated buses, most services are now operated with new modern single or double deck coaches. In the United States, services radiate from Chicago and New York City, but the networks are not connected. In both the UK and the US, to cut costs, most services use on-street bus stops rather than pay for access to coach stations (except in cases where pre-existing routes were converted to Megabus lines). A notable exception to this is the use of London Victoria Coach Station.[68]


On 14 November 2005, the Megabus concept was extended to certain rail services, with the introduction of Megatrain between London and Southampton, and London and Portsmouth, using a dedicated carriage on selected South West Trains services. It was later extended to some Virgin Trains services (since withdrawn) and to selected East Midlands Trains services. In 2009, the Megabusplus concept was introduced, under which certain trips are begun on a train and are then completed on a bus. Unlike the original Megatrain concept, this service is available seven days a week.[69]

Scottish Citylink

Stagecoach in the Highlands coach 53109 (SV09 EGD), Showbus 2010
Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12B in September 2010

In September 2005 Stagecoach and ComfortDelGro announced a joint venture in the provision of express coach services in Scotland, ending intense competition between ComfortDelGro's subsidiary Scottish Citylink and Stagecoach subsidiaries Megabus and Motorvator. Under the terms of the joint venture, the Stagecoach Group acquires a 35% stake in Scottish Citylink Coaches Ltd, with Citylink assuming certain rights to the Megabus and Motorvator brands in Scotland.[70]

The Competition Commission ruled in October 2006 that the joint venture substantially reduced competition and that evidence suggested some routes were already experiencing higher fares as a result.[71] Though no firm conclusion was drawn, regulators are to consult the two companies about what they need to do to comply with competition regulations and they have indicated that this will likely lead to the forced divestment of some services to an independent operator. The ruling was criticised by Stagecoach as leaving vital services in limbo and jeopardising Scotland's intercity coach network, making it unable to compete effectively with rail and private car journeys.[72]

To satisfy the Commission, some Citylink routes were sold to Parks Motor Group in early 2008.[73]


Section 28 protestor in Manchester in July 2000

Competitive strategy

Following the deregulation of bus services in the United Kingdom, Stagecoach bought a number of the newly emerged small bus companies and ran free or low fare buses to put local rivals out of business.[74] In Darlington, Stagecoach subsidiary Busways offered bounties to recruit drivers away from the existing bus service and offered free buses to deter the rival preferred bidder from taking over the existing bus service. This was "predatory, deplorable and against the public interest" according to findings from the Monopolies & Mergers Commission.[75][76]

In 2000 Stagecoach Manchester was found to have been employing bus inspectors to usher passengers away from competitor's services.[77] In 2005 alleged aggressive behaviour by Stagecoach drivers, seeking to compete with Scotbus, resulted in an arson fire at a Stagecoach East Scotland garage.[78]

In 2006/07 Stagecoach Manchester and UK North engaged in a bus war on route 192 and on the Wilmslow Road bus corridor that caused traffic chaos in Manchester.[79][80] In November 2009 the Competition Commission ordered Stagecoach to sell Preston Bus after it had adversely affected competition in the area. Preston Bus was sold in January 2011.[81][82][83]

Controversial chairman

The Stagecoach Group has also indirectly attracted criticism through controversial statements and actions made by its chairman and co-founder, Brian Souter, regarding certain public statements and his funding of a campaign to block the repeal of the Section 28 law. In 2000, OutRage! spokesman Peter Tatchell, called for a boycott of the bus and rail group.[84]

Fleet numbers

The Stagecoach Group number their buses using a system that applies for the life of the bus or until it is sold, as follows:[85]

  • 10000 – 19999: double-decker buses
  • 20000 – 29999: heavyweight single-decker buses
  • 30000 – 39999: lightweight single-decker buses
  • 40000 – 49999: minibuses and midibuses
  • 50000 – 59999: coaches
  • 60000 – 69999: New Routemasters and other specialised vehicles
  • 70000 – 79999: series unused
  • 80000 – 89999: demonstrator and loaned vehicles
  • 90000 – 99999: pool cars, staff transport vehicles, etc.

Guided Busway

Stagecoach operate buses along the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway. The Guide wheels on the side of the buses, combined with a specially built track mean that hands free driving is possible. The main advantages of a guided busway, versus a normal road are higher speeds (meaning increased capacity) and increased safety as traffic of differing directions is physically separated.[86]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2018" (PDF). Stagecoach Group. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Brian Souter: The man who hates not getting his money's worth". The Daily Telegraph. London. 23 July 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2007.
  3. ^ "New man at Stagecoach wheel". Daily Record. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  4. ^ Hymans, Michael (2016). British Coaching: Chassis Manufacturers, Coachbuilders and Operators. Amberley Publishing. ISBN 978-1445661803.
  5. ^ Stagecoach aims to buy trains Porterbrook purchase would give bus and rail giant one-third of passenger rolling stock The Herald (Glasgow) 1 July 1996
  6. ^ Porterbrook Leasing sale agreed Railway Gazette International 27 October 2008
  7. ^ City, Our (20 March 2000). "Stagecoach poised to sell Porterbrook". London: Independent. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  8. ^ Sheffield supertram falls victim to competition from cheap buses The Independent 10 June 1996
  9. ^ Harrison, Michael (23 January 2001). "Stagecoach sells off Prestwick for £33m". London: Independent. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  10. ^ "Stagecoach sells New Zealand unit". BBC News. 21 November 2005. Retrieved 22 November 2005.
  11. ^ "Stagecoach buys Yorkshire Traction". Bus and Coach. 2005. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  12. ^ Fletcher, Nick (15 October 2010). "Stagecoach buys back London bus business at a discount". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  13. ^ "Stagecoach told to sell off services". Bus and Coach News. 2006. Archived from the original on 6 November 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2006.
  14. ^ "Stagecoach wins railway franchise". BBC News. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
  15. ^ "Stagecoach named preferred bidder to run Greater Manchester's Metrolink" (Press release). Greater Manchester PTE. 3 April 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  16. ^ "Stagecoach to buy bus war rival". Lancashire Evening Post. 30 December 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  17. ^ "UK Government: Stagecoach Must Sell Preston Bus Limited". ADVFN. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  18. ^ Fletcher, Nick (15 October 2010). "Stagecoach buys back London bus business at a discount". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  19. ^ Carter, Helen; Milmo, Dan (2 August 2011). "Manchester's trams to be run by Paris Metro firm". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  20. ^ "Bus Group purchases Herald Green". The Herald. Glasgow. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  21. ^ a b More seats, more services and new trains for East Coast passengers Department for Transport 27 November 2014
  22. ^ a b Stagecoach and Virgin win East Coast mainline rail franchise BBC News 27 November 2014
  23. ^ East Coast train line to be put into public control BBC News 16 May 2018
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b Completion of North America sale Stagecoach 16 April 2019
  26. ^ Stagecoach disqualified from bidding for three British franchises International Railway Journal 10 April 2019
  27. ^ Annual Report 30 April 2013 Stagecoach plc
  28. ^ "Overview". Stagecoach Group. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  29. ^ "Opco map". Stagecoach Group. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  30. ^ Stagecoach re-enters London bus market BBC News 15 October 2010
  31. ^ "Integrated Transport White Paper". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  32. ^ "London to Oxford by direct coach". Europe bus. Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  33. ^ "Getting Around Cambridge". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  34. ^ "Stagecoach Gold X17 – luxury at no extra cost". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  35. ^ "Stagecoach rolls out £3m new buses and timetables for Lincoln". The Lincolnite. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  36. ^ "More services and extra capacity for the Midlands". Department for Transport. 2007. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  37. ^ More seats and services and state of the art trains for passengers on new East Midlands railway Department for Transport 10 April 2019
  38. ^ Harrison, Michael (31 January 1997). "Virgin pledges tilt trains for West Coast". The Independent. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  39. ^ Virgin Trains to disappear in less than a year due to pensions row The Independent 10 April 2019
  40. ^ "Sheffield Supertram: History". Retrieved 22 August 2007.
  41. ^ "Bromhill on line". Retrieved 25 April 2017.
  42. ^ "Stagecoach Group Company History". Stagecoach Group. 2008. Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2008.
  43. ^ "Virgin to run CrossCountry trains". The Independent. 14 November 1996. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  44. ^ "Arriva wins Cross Country rail routes". The Telegraph. 11 June 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  45. ^ "Stagecoach in Manchester tram coup". This is Money. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  46. ^ "RATP buys Manchester Metrolink operator". Railway Gazette International. 2 August 2011.
  47. ^ Davidson, Ros (22 September 2006). "Stagecoach wins South West Trains contract". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  48. ^ FirstGroup and MTR welcome South Western rail franchise award London Stock Exchange 27 March 2017
  49. ^ "TUPE transfer to Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited". TSSA. 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  50. ^ "Buslink Queensland History". Australian Bus Fleet Lists. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  51. ^ "Stagecoach Hong Kong". Oriental Model Buses. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  52. ^ Stagecoach enters Hong Kong BBC News 18 January 1999
  53. ^ Stagecoach sells HK buses BBC News 9 June 2003
  54. ^ Stagecoach takes the £176m road away from Hong Kong The Telegraph 10 June 2003
  55. ^ "Metamorphosis of Kenya Bus in the Provision of Urban Transport in Nairobi" (PDF). Africa Transport Policy Programme. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  56. ^ "Stagecoach sells New Zealand unit". BBC. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  57. ^ "Coach USA". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  58. ^ "Megabus". Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  59. ^ "Coach Canada". Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  60. ^ Sale of North America Division for Estimated Enterprise Value of US$271M Stagecoach 19 December 2018
  61. ^ Stagecoach sells off North American division for $271m Coach & Bus Week 21 December 2018
  62. ^ Stagecoach agrees to sell Coach USA Buses issue 767 February 2019 page 6
  63. ^ "Stagecoach to shed Portuguese fleet". The Telegraph. 17 June 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2001.
  64. ^ "Stagecoach seals pounds 230m takeover of Swebus". The Independent. 3 November 1996. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  65. ^ "Stagecoach loses £123m on sale of Swebus". The Independent. 27 October 1999. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  66. ^ "The price of the Magic bus is going UP by 50p... and students are not happy". Manchester Evening News. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  67. ^ "Megabus services to and from London". London Tool Kit. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  68. ^ "Rivals do not fear £1 London service". Hull Daily Mail. 27 March 2009. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  69. ^ "Stagecoach/Scottish Citylink inquiry". Competition Commission. 2006. Archived from the original on 8 January 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2006.
  70. ^ Scottish Citylink Completes Sale of Services Competition Commission 5 February 2008
  71. ^ "UK | Brian Souter: Stagecoach's straightman". BBC News. 21 January 2000. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  72. ^ Glenda Cooper (24 December 1995). "Stagecoach set record of shame ful record of shame – Home News – UK". The Independent. London. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  73. ^ "The supply of bus services in the north-east of England". Competition Commission. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  74. ^ Stagecoach found guilty of bus war dirty tricks The Independent 3 December 2000
  75. ^ "Man jailed over bus depot fires". BBC News. 14 February 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2006.
  76. ^ Council concerns over 'bus war' BBC News 3 April 2006
  77. ^ Bus wars: Get it sorted Manchester Evening News 15 February 2007
  78. ^ Preston Bus to be Sold Archived 19 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Competition Commission 11 November 2009
  79. ^ Company must sell 'bus war' rival BBC News 11 November 2009
  80. ^ Stagecoach must sell Preston Bus Lancashire Evening Post 11 November 2009
  81. ^ "Boycott call in Stagecoach 'anti-gay' row". BBC News. 14 January 2000. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
  82. ^ "Stagecoach fleet list". SD Website. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  83. ^ Scott, Richard (8 August 2011). "hands-free bus". BBC News. Retrieved 14 April 2012.

Further reading

  • Wolmar, Christian (21 October – 3 November 1998). "The real Stagecoach story...". Rail. No. 342. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 24–28. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.

External links

Community Coach

Community Coach is a bus operator in northern New Jersey owned by Coach USA, operating fixed route and charter service.

East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains (EMT) is a British train operating company owned by Stagecoach Group.

Based in Derby, the company provides train services in the East Midlands and parts of Yorkshire, chiefly in Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Northamptonshire. The franchise commenced in November 2007 with the amalgamation of the Midland Mainline and eastern parts of the Central Trains franchises and will run until August 2019.

East Midlands Trains' London terminus is London St Pancras International.

Fleet Buzz

Fleet Buzz was a bus company based in Crondall, Hampshire, England. It was a subsidiary of Stagecoach.

Megabus (Europe)

Megabus is a long distance coach (Intercity bus service) operator operated by the Stagecoach Group. It commenced operating in August 2003, initially in the United Kingdom, and later expanding into continental Europe. Some services link with Megatrain services, also operated by Stagecoach. Fares use a yield management model, formerly starting at £1. In June 2016, Stagecoach Group sold all operations in the European mainland, as well as those services linking London with Europe, to German competitor Flixbus. Megabus serves as a contractor, so the sale resulted in no route changes for passengers. Domestic UK operations remain under the control of Stagecoach.

Rockland Coaches

Rockland Coaches Inc. (also known as The Red and Tan Lines) is a commuter coach company owned by Coach USA based in Westwood, New Jersey, United States, that operates commuter bus service between New York City and points in Bergen County, New Jersey and Rockland County, New York, and provides local bus service in both locales north of Route 46.

Stagecoach Bluebird

Stagecoach Bluebird (also known by its legal operating name Bluebird Buses Ltd, and formerly Northern Scottish Omnibuses Ltd) is a Scottish bus operating company which covers the areas of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

It is a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group, after their purchase of the company from the Scottish Bus Group in 1991, and today forms part of the Stagecoach North Scotland division, along with Stagecoach in the Highlands. The company holds a Royal Warrant from HM Queen Elizabeth II for bus and coach services, granted in 1996.

Stagecoach East

Stagecoach East is the divisional name for the bus operations of the Stagecoach Group in eastern England.

Stagecoach East Midlands

Stagecoach East Midlands is a bus company, part of the Stagecoach Group.

Its headquarters are in Lincoln, England, and it operates services under the following brand names:

Stagecoach in Bassetlaw

Stagecoach in Mansfield

Stagecoach Grimsby-Cleethorpes

Stagecoach in Hull

Stagecoach in Lincolnshire

Stagecoach in Newark (see Stagecoach in Lincolnshire)The Stagecoach in Chesterfield operation has been transferred to Stagecoach Yorkshire since the acquisition of Yorkshire Terrier.

Stagecoach London

Stagecoach London is a bus operator in London. It is a subsidiary of Stagecoach and operates services under contract to Transport for London mostly in east and south-east and partly in central London

Stagecoach Manchester

Stagecoach Manchester is a bus operator in Greater Manchester, England. It is the largest UK bus subsidiary of Stagecoach Group, carrying 98 million passengers in 2012.

Stagecoach Merseyside

Stagecoach Merseyside is a major operator of bus services in the British city of Liverpool and in the surrounding area of Merseyside. It is a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group. It was formed in July 2005 due to the acquisition of Glenvale Transport (GT), which in turn had initially been formed by ex-MTL managers bidding for the company, following a Competition Commission ruling that Arriva must sell their newly acquired Gillmoss depot to preserve competition between bus operators within the Merseyside area.

The fleet of the newly created Glenvale Transport mostly comprised elderly Leyland Titans and aging Dennis Darts, although efforts were made to update the fleet via an agreement with Essex-based dealer Ensignbus, seeing newer buses arrive regularly from the end of 2003 right up to the Stagecoach takeover in the summer of 2005. Several much newer buses, although in need of repair, were permanently stationed at the depot, likely due to financial struggles making it difficult to repair the buses. Glenvale had an annual turnover of approximately £25 million.The company was sold to Stagecoach Group in 2005, who pledged to invest in new buses for Merseyside. The result since takeover has been a £6.5m fleet of 75 new low-floor Alexander Dennis Dart buses that have entered service with the company, with the sale and disposal of older buses previously in operation with Glenvale.

Also, in late January 2013 Stagecoach purchased First Chester & The Wirral bus operations in and these now operate as part of Stagecoach Merseyside.

Stagecoach Midlands

Stagecoach Midlands is the name for most bus routes in Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. The legal name for the company is United Counties Omnibus Company Ltd in Northamptonshire and Midland Red (South) Ltd in Warwickshire.In towns, local bus routes are mostly under their own branding. These are Connect Kettering, Connect Wellingborough, Corby Star, and Daventry Dart, while Northampton has no local name but is part of the Buzz fare scheme.

Stagecoach Sheffield

Stagecoach Sheffield is a bus operator based in Sheffield, England, a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group. It was formed from the Sheffield-based operations of the Yorkshire Traction Group, purchased by Stagecoach in 2005. Most bus services in Sheffield are operated by Stagecoach Sheffield or First South Yorkshire.

Stagecoach Sheffield services are marketed alongside the Sheffield Supertram, operated by Stagecoach since 1997. Stagecoach Sheffield also operate the related SupertramLink bus.

Stagecoach South

Stagecoach South is a bus operator providing services in South East England. It is a subsidiary of Stagecoach. It operates services in Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex with some routes extending into Berkshire and Wiltshire. As at April 2013 it operates 473 buses from seven depots.It is branded as four sub-divisions: Stagecoach in Hampshire, Stagecoach in Hants & Surrey, Stagecoach in the South Downs and Stagecoach in Portsmouth

Stagecoach South East

Stagecoach South East is an operating division of the Stagecoach Group. The headquarters of the division are situated in Canterbury, England.

It consists of Stagecoach in East Kent, Stagecoach in Hastings and Stagecoach in Eastbourne; the latter two operations are marketed under the name Stagecoach in East Sussex.

Stagecoach Strathtay

Stagecoach Strathtay is a Scottish bus operating company which covers the Dundee and Angus areas, and parts of Grampian. It is a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group, which bought Strathtay Scottish Omnibuses Ltd from Traction Group in 2005. Strathtay Scottish was formed in 1985 as a subsidiary of the Scottish Transport Group, from parts of Walter Alexander & Sons (Midland) Ltd and Walter Alexander & Sons (Northern) Ltd. Stagecoach have retained the right to the operating name Strathtay Scottish; this is reflected in the legal lettering on the company's vehicles.

Stagecoach in Bedford

Stagecoach in Bedford, also known as Bedford Bus (stylised as 'Bedfordbus'), is the sector of the Stagecoach Group that operates buses in Bedford, Bedfordshire and is currently a trading name of Cambus Ltd. Stagecoach in Bedford forms part of the Stagecoach East division, along with Stagecoach in Cambridge, Stagecoach in Peterborough and Stagecoach in The Fens.

Stagecoach in The Fens

Stagecoach in Huntingdonshire is the trading name of Stagecoach in The Fens Limited, which runs services throughout Huntingdon, the Fens and surrounding areas. It is part of Stagecoach East, itself a subsidiary of the larger Stagecoach Group Plc.

Major groups
Related topics
Stagecoach Group
Key personnel
United Kingdom
bus companies
United Kingdom
railway companies
United Kingdom
tram operations
Former operations
FTSE 100United Kingdom FTSE 250 companies of the United Kingdom
Bus and coach transport in the United Kingdom
By country
Private operators
Public operators
Public authorities

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.