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<tr class="logo"><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center; padding:16px 0 16px 0;">National Express Logo</td></tr> <tr class="note"><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Type</th><td>Public (Template:Lse)</td></tr><tr class="note"><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Founded</th><td>1972 (National Express Branding)
1992 as National Express Group plc</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Headquarters</th><td class="adr"></span></span>Template:FlagiconLondon, England, UK</td></tr><tr class="note"><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Area served</th><td>British Isles, the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and North America</td></tr><tr class="note"><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Key people</th><td>Richard Bowker CBE, CEO
David Ross, Chairman</td></tr><tr class="note"><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Industry</th><td>Public Transport</td></tr><tr class="note"><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Products</th><td>Bus, Train and Tram Services</td></tr><tr class="note"><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Employees</th><td>43,000</td></tr><tr><th style="text-align:right; padding-right:0.75em;">Website</th><td class="url"> Corporate Site Consumer Portal</td></tr>
National Express Group plc

National Express Group plc (Template:Lse) is a UK-based transport group that operates airport, bus and rail services in the UK, the US and Canada, Australia, Spain, Portugal and Morocco and long-distance coach routes across Europe. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

History Edit

The National Express brand was created in 1972 by the state-owned National Bus Company (NBC) to bring together the express bus and coach services operated by the bus operating companies within the NBC group. The National Express network was largely a branding and management exercise, with services continuing to be operated by the individual companies.

With the privatisation of the NBC in the 1980s, National Express was subject to a management buy-out in 1988. In 1992, National Express Group PLC was floated on the London Stock Exchange with a remit to acquire new businesses in the passenger transport market.


  • In 1996 the group acquired its first UK rail franchises, Gatwick Express and Midland Mainline. Since then seven further franchises have been added, and rail services now account for the largest portion of the group's activity.
  • In 2005 National Express agreed to buy most of operations of privately owned Spanish transport operator Alsa, which operates bus and coach services in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, and long-distance coach services to other parts of Europe. Alsa's operations in South America and China were retained by the previous owners. [1]

Also in mid 2005, the group bought the London buses arm of Tellings Golden Miller and branded it Travel London. This included a number of services in South West London and Surrey.

The group has also moved into operations outside the UK. At one time it had extensive bus, rail and tram operations in Australia, but with the collapse of the group there, all operations were either sold off or had control returned to the State Government (see 'Services formerly operated'). Only one bus operator was retained, Westbus in Australia. It led to a strange situation developing, as Westbus at the time of acquisition owned a subsidiary operation in London, called Westbus in Australia that still operates and is managed from Sydney.

December 2007 restructuringEdit

File:National Express Coach.jpg
File:East coast slice.gif

On 11 November 2007, National Express Group announced plans to re-brand their constituent companies under a new unified National Express identity.[1] This is intended to achieve greater recognition for all the group companies, to coincide with recent rail acquisitions and after current rail operations had improved in reliability to warrant association with the established express coach image. It also coincides with appointment a group director for all UK operations and head office relocations, bringing all operations under a single strategic managament structure. Day to day management remains within individual companies[2].

The new branding consists of changing the National Express name into lower case, with a more rounded typeface, in addition to a grey 'graphic device', consisting of diagonal parallel lines with round ends, meant to symbolise 'connections' and the group philosophy of punctuality[2]. The overall scheme retains the red and blue lettering on a white background. Some companies will have an additional descriptor after the national express name, such as East Coast or East Anglia.

On 9 December 2007 the new branding was launched on the new railway franchise National Express East Coast, formerly GNER[3] In December the branding has also started to be applied to the National Express coach fleet. The branding application to local bus companies is still being reviewed, which requires consideration of on bus advertising and local branding[2].

On 4 February 2008 the new branding was launched on bus National Express West Midlands formerly Travel West Midlands.

On 26 February 2008 the new branding was launched on TOC National Express East Anglia formely One Railway


In the year ended 31 December 2004 the group's turnover was £2,560.2 million. Profits were £63.1 million before tax and £40.8 million after tax.

Operating Companies Edit

UK and EuropeEdit

Bus and Coach ServicesEdit

See also: Bus transport in the United Kingdom

As of April 2006, the bus and coach services operated by the group are:

Bus OperationsEdit
Coach OperationsEdit

Tram and Railway ServicesEdit

As of April 2006, the tram and railway services operated by the group are:

Tram ServicesEdit
Railway ServicesEdit

USA & CanadaEdit

Bus and Coach ServicesEdit

Former OperationsEdit

UK Rail FranchisesEdit

Rail franchises lost in refranchising include:

In November 2007 several franchises were lost in a general restructure of franchises:


In the 1990s National Express Group moved into the privatisation of airports, eventually purchasing East Midlands Airport, Bournemouth Airport and Humberside Airport. In a move to concentrate on bus and rail provision, the airports were sold to Manchester Airports Group for £241m in March 2001.

Until November 2007, the group also operated Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, New York. However, the lease was sold to the public Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Australian operationsEdit

In 1999 the Group gained the Australian franchises M>Train, M>Tram and V/Line Passenger after privatisation by the Government of Victoria. After financial collapse of the Australian division, the operations were handed back to the State Government. M>Train was passed on to Connex, and M>Tram to Yarra Trams.

Australian bus companies previously operated by the group include:


  1. Times Article
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 [Buses Magazine, December 2007 issue, Ian Allen publishing]
  3. East Coast route has new operator BBC News 9 dec 2007

External linksEdit

{{Bus companies in Scotland}

Template:FTSE 250 Index constituents