Stagecoach acquires Norfolk Green
Stagecoach Group has completed the acquisition of Go West Travel Ltd, trading as Norfolk Green. Norfolk Green, which was last month named Independent Bus Operator of the Year, operates commercial, tendered and school bus services, employing over 160 people. The company operates around 70 buses and carries around 4.6m passengers a year on a network covering Norfolk and parts of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. The business has leased depot and bus station facilities in King’s Lynn, as well as a number of small out-station facilities on short-term let arrangements. The acquisition is expected to complement Stagecoach’s existing successful bus operations in the east of England, where it already runs around 360 buses and employs 950 staff. Norfolk Green, which the present owners bought in 1996 with three coaches, has become available for purchase due to the retirement following ill health of main shareholder Ben Colson. The operation will be run separately, managed by Regional Director North, Stagecoach UK Bus, Gary Nolan.
MD of Stagecoach UK Bus, Robert Montgomery, said, ‘Norfolk Green is an award-winning, high-quality bus operator. The business is well run and has been successful in attracting more people to the benefits of bus travel. The acquisition will allow us to expand our operations in the east of England, where we have achieved good passenger growth by focusing on good value fares, investing in our networks and delivering punctual and reliable services. Our people are central to our growth plans and we are delighted to welcome our new employees to the business.’
Ben Colson said, ‘We have built a strong brand in the area with a larger network of bus routes than was here in 1996, attracted new customers to using the bus and increased employment. The company goes forward into new hands in good shape, and will benefit from being owned by a major transport company.’