Bus History

Deregulation Of Bus Services

Stagecoach makes Bus History

In those days, bus services across Britain were very much part of the public sector, owned by a mix of council and state-owned transport authorities. Some services were good, but many left a lot to be desired. Brian knew things would have to change.

He was right. In 1985 the Government announced plans to deregulate all bus services outside London and this gave Sir Brian the opening he needed to revolutionise Britain’s transport sector.

A master strategist, Sir Brian was the architect of the growth blueprint that would lead to Stagecoach expanding across the UK and around the world.

One of the early services Sir Brian launched was Magicbus which operated in Glasgow and offered passengers unbelievably cheap fares using old London Routemaster buses with conductors.

The organic growth was impressive but, recognising the opportunity for market consolidation and economies of scale, Sir Brian took Stagecoach on the acquisition trail buying National Bus Company operations in Cumberland, Hampshire, East Midlands, Ribble, Southdown and the United Counties.

Expansion continued and in the early 90s Stagecoach bought further bus operations in Scotland, Newcastle and London with Manchester being added a few years later.

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