Welcome to the British Bus Publishing


British Bus Publishing was established in the early 1990s to continue the Bus Handbook series of guides to bus and coach operators established by Capital Transport. The books are a quality product aimed at the transport enthusiast and the bus and coach industry to pride accurate listing of the vehicles operated at the time of publishing.

They also able to provide a record for historic purposes and with that in mind we will continue to supply the earlier edition while they remain in print. In addition, to the books British Bus Publishing are importers into Britain of the German models made by Rietze as well as the established makes of EFE, Corgi, Britbus and Creative Masters models.

These can be ordered from the stock list or we can import your Reitze models if you can send an e-mail with your requests.



Go-Ahead was initially formed twenty-five years ago as the Gateshead-based Go-Ahead Northern when the management team acquired that company during the privatisation of the National Bus Company in 1987. Early expansion saw the acquisition of a number of smaller bus operators in the north east, including Gypsey Queen and Low Feel Coaches.
In November 1993 Brighton and Hove buses was acquired. This was quickly followed by the Oxford Bus Company in March 1994. The privatisation of London Buses in the mid-nineties saw Camberwell-based London Central acquired in November 1994, and this purchase was built upon in June 1996, when fellow London bus operator London General was taken over from the management and employee team that acquired the business at privatisation.
In a further move, one of the North East’s oldest, largest, and most respected independents had been purchased in March 1995 adding 225 vehicles.  OK Motors of Bishop Auckland had roots dating back to 1912.  More recently further expansion in London has seen Docklands Minibuses and Blue Triangle join Go-Ahead London bus operations in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Other acquisitions have seen Brighton & Hove, the Oxford Bus Company, Metrobus, Wilts & Dorset, Southern Vectis and Solent Blue Line join the Go-Ahead family.  Outside London and the south, the most recent acquisition was in the West Midlands where Go-Ahead purchased the Birmingham Coach Company and Probus Limited, operating the combined business under the Go West Midland brand. In March 2008 Go-ahead sold Go West Midlands to Rotala’s Central connect. In July 2009, Go-Ahead entered into an agreement to acquire East Thames Buses, giving Go-Ahead a 21.5% share of London bus operations.  Of Go-Ahead’s fifteen key operating companies, eleven are based in London and the south of England.  
In 1997 the successful blue, red and yellow colours of the Metro Supershuttle were taken as the basis for the new livery for the North Eastern operations of Go-Northern, Go-Wear Buses and Go-Gateshead local operations under the umbrella brand of Go North East.  From 2006 a change of focus has been marked by the emergence of locally route branded services, with names such as the Red Kite, The Magic Roundabout, The Black Cats, The Prince Bishops and the Doxford Clipper.
In recent times, a move to increase comfort levels has become apparent too.  The new trend in bus design is the low floor bus.  For elderly passengers or parents shepherding children, vastly improved access is offered.  London put the first of the new buses into service.  Go North East became the next company to follow suit in 1994 and it now runs one of the UK’s largest low floor fleets. 
Go-Ahead acquired Plymouth CityBus  in 2009 and KonectBus in  Norwich in March 2010 and also entered into a joint venture with yellow school bus operator Cook-Illinois in the United States in 2009. Earlier this year, the company acquired Thames Travel. 
Rail privatisation has presented another opportunity for the group. Through its Govia joint venture with French transport operator Keolis,  the Thameslink franchise was gained in 2006/07 and Go-Ahead took on Thames Trains. Both benefited from modern rolling stock.  Thames Trains worked out of Paddington and covered the country as far out as Hereford and Stratford-upon-Avon. Both this franchise and Thameslink were awarded to First Group following competitions in 2005 and 2006.
In 2001 Govia took over the operation of the South Central rail from Connex. A new franchise was signed in 2003, to run until 2009, with the railway branded as ‘Southern’ and on retendering in 2009, Govia retained the franchise until 2015. The Gatwick Express service is now part of the South Central services and is operated by Govia. Govia is currently shortlisted to bid for the new combined Thameslink, Southern and Geat Northern franchise which is due to start in September 2013.
In 2005 Govia was awarded the Integrated Kent Franchise which had been in public ownership since Connex were stripped of this in 2003.  Renamed as Southeastern, this new franchise commenced in April 2006, runs until March  2014 and includes the operation of new high speed trains on the domestic Channel Tunnel Rail Link into St Pancras which was launched in December 2009. The service will provide the Javelin Shuttle service for spectators during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
In 2007 Go-Ahead, again though the Govia joint venture partnership, was awarded the newly created West Midlands Franchise which began operations in November the same year.  Known as London Midland, it combines the former Silverlink County franchise and the West Midlands regional services of the former Central Trains network.
In 1998 the aviation services company GHI joined the group. The company was merged with other Go-Ahead aviation acquisitions and rebranded as ‘aviance UK’. In early 2010, Go-Ahead sold the majority of its ground handling and cargo operations, as part of its strategy of focusing on its core bus and rail operations. The remainder was sold in early 2011.
Go-Ahead became the first UK transport operator to receive Carbon Trust Standard accreditation for its efforts to  reduce its carbon emissions. The business was re-accredited in 2011. The company as set a target to reduce its emissions by twenty per cent per passenger journey by 2015. To date, Go-Ahead has achieved a twelve per cent reduction through, focusing on a range of initiatives including fuel efficient training for its 10,000 bus drivers, introducing regenerative braking on its train fleets and reducing energy consumptions in its depots, offices and rail stations. 
In  October 2011, Go-Ahead won the National Transport Award for its introduction of its smartcard ticket known as the key. The smartcard is being rolled out across the company’s bus and rail divisions and aims to make travel easier for passengers, as well as giving them access to value for money fares. 
2012 got off to a good start with Smartcard ticket machines have been installed on all Go-Ahead’s 2,000 buses outside London and the key is successfully up and running across most of its bus network and on parts of its Southern and London Midland rail franchises.
On March 3rd, Go-Ahead Group acquired Carousel Buses Limited, based in High Wycombe. Carousel operates around 50 buses in the Wycombe area and runs services to Heathrow Airport, Uxbridge, Chesham and Watford.  Two days later, Go-Ahead Group announced the acquisition of Essex-based company Hedingham Omnibuses. Founded in 1960, the company is based in Colchester and operates eighty-six buses in Essex. The business has five depots at Clacton, Hedingham, Kelvedon, Sudbury and Tollesbury. It principally operates a mix of school and local bus contracts and commercial routes. Also in March Go-Ahead acquired First London East’s Northumberland Park bus depot in Tottenham, north east London.
In April the company acquired Anglian Buses. Based in Beccles, Suffolk Anglian operates seventy-one buses. And runs services from the Suffolk coast to, from and within Norwich, as well as in Yarmouth, Lowestoft and along the Suffolk coast down as far as Ipswich. All four of the operations outside London will retain their individual brands.
On June 2nd 2012, The Go-Ahead Group acquired HC Chambers & Son Limited, a small bus company operating on the Essex/Suffolk border. All four of the new acquisitions outside London will retain their individual brands.