Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,191 pages of information and 245,643 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Stagecoach Group

From Graces Guide

Stagecoach Group is a transport group based in Perth, Scotland.

1976 Robin Gloag and his wife Ann set up a small self-drive motor caravan and minibus rental business (Gloagtrotter).

The partnership was subsequently joined by Ann's brother, Brian Souter, an accountant, and expanded to private bus hire.

1980 The Transport Act 1980 allowed operators to run express services of over 35 miles without authorisation from the Traffic Commissioners. As a result many new services were established, including one run by Brian Souter and Ann Gloag who formed the Stagecoach partnership providing service between Dundee and London.

1983 the partnership was converted to Stage-Coach Ltd.

1985 Acquired McLennan of Spittalfield, adding Perthshire rural bus services to Stage-Coach Ltd's relatively small local bus operations.

1986 In preparation for deregulation, they formed a new company, Magic Bus (Scotland) Ltd, to run services in Glasgow

1986 Stagecoach (Holdings) Ltd was formed to act as a holding company for the existing bus interests and future acquisitions.

1987 Brian Souter, Ann Gloag with their uncle Fraser McColl and Dawson Williams, Managing Director of the National Bus Co (NBC) subsidiary Hampshire Bus, formed a holding company Skipburn Ltd with a view to bidding for Hampshire Bus, which was subsequently acquired, as was Pilgrim Coaches (another NBC company). Pilgrim was soon absorbed into Hampshire. Acquired Cumberland Motor Services Ltd. and United Counties Omnibus Co Ltd bringing the Stagecoach Group fleet to 914 vehicles.

1987 Acquired the other shareholders' interests in Skipburn.

1988 Stagecoach purchased the bus and coach businesses of two Cumbrian independents: Yeowart's of Whitehaven and Kirkpatrick's Coaches of Brigham. Later that year Hampshire purchased Basingstoke Transit Ltd, a holding company for a minibus operation.

1989 Stagecoach also acquired Ribble Motor Services Ltd, East Midlands Motor Services Ltd, Southdown Motor Services Ltd, and Hastings and District Transport Ltd, a company bought from the NBC by its management in 1987 which ran about 90 vehicles, mostly minibuses (since merged with Stagecoach's Top Line business in Hastings. Top Line was a joint venture between Southdown and Eastbourne Buses Ltd: it started trading on 29 May 1988. At that time 51 per cent of the share capital was held by Southdown.).

1989 The government asked for an MMC investigation of the take-over of Portsmouth Citybus Ltd

1989 The express coach business was sold to National Express

1990 Acquired Mercers, Maun and Gray Coach Lines

1991 The Portsmouth Citybus business was substantially divested following a decision by the Secretary of State after an adverse public interest finding by the MMC.

1991 Acquired Northern Scottish and Fife Scottish

1992 Acquired Hants and Surrey and Wellington City Transport

1993 Stagecoach made a placing and offer for sale of part of its ordinary share capital and acquired a listing on the London Stock Exchange

1993-5 A further 14 acquisitions of UK bus operators, including a major move into urban areas with the acquisitions of Busways in Newcastle, two of the ten London Bus companies and Cleveland Transit Limited. These included some of the assets of Lancaster City Transport, and East Kent Travel, Grimsby-Cleethorpes Transport and Western Travel

1994 Acquired Western Scottish, East London Bus and Coach Co, South East London and Kent Bus Co, a stake in Mainline Partnership, Arran Transport, Cleveland Transit, Kingston-upon-Hull City Transport, a stake in S. B. Holdings of Glasgow and Hartlepool Transport.

1995 Acquired A1 Buses, and Cambus Holdings Ltd operating 370 buses and coaches in Cambridge, Peterborough and Milton Keynes.

1995 Stagecoach was one of seven companies that accounted for approximately 60 per cent of the UK bus travel market, measured in terms of turnover. Four of these, including Stagecoach, had Stock Exchange listings.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Wikipedia
  • Monopolies and Mergers Commission report 1990
  • Competition Commission report 1996