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British Industrial History

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National Bus Co

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The National Bus Company (NBC) was, from 1969 to 1988, a nationalised bus company in England and Wales.

1969 January 1: The National Bus Company was formed as the owner of a number of regional bus operating companies, including the Transport Holding Co's bus and coach interests which included those of both Tilling and BET. It did not run buses itself.

The NBC inherited from the Transport Holding Co (THC) the 75 percent holdings in the bus manufacturers Bristol Commercial Vehicles and Eastern Coach Works.

1969 NBC formed a joint venture with British Leyland Motor Corporation (the 25% owner of Bristol and ECW), by means of which British Leyland became a 50% owner of the NBC's manufacturing companies. The joint venture designed and built a new single-deck bus, the Leyland National. The first bus was delivered in 1972, and it remained in production until 1986. The National was also available to other bus operators.

1969 Acquired Gosport and Fareham Omnibus Co from Hanson Trust[1]

1970 the company was enlarged when it acquired the former country area buses of London Transport, and the bus operations of the County Boroughs of Exeter and Luton.

1972 NBC introduced corporate images. Henceforward its coaches were branded as National Travel and painted in unrelieved white, with the NBC logo and the 'NATIONAL' name in alternate red & blue letters, being rebranded as National Express soon afterwards. The addition of blue and white stripes appeared first in 1978.

In 1982 NBC sold its 50% interest in the joint venture (including Bristol and ECW) to British Leyland.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Dec 20, 1969