Preston Bus

Preston Bus

Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B5L in Preston in May 2013
Parent Rotala
Founded June 1904
Headquarters Preston
Service area Preston
Service type Bus services
Fleet 102 (February 2014)
Chief executive Bob Dunn

Preston Bus[1] is a bus operator running within the city of Preston, England. It is a subsidiary of Rotala. It gained some notoriety in 2009 when the Competition Commission ordered Stagecoach to sell it.


Preserved Leyland Olympian in the livery introduced in the 1970s
East Lancs Lolyne bodied Dennis Trident 2 in Blackpool in April 2009 in Preston Bus livery with Stagecoach signwriting
Optare Solo leaving Chorley Interchange for Preston in March 2013

Preston Bus was founded in June 1904 as Preston District Travel and operated a number of services in the Preston area. To comply with the Transport Act 1985, in 1986 the assets were transferred to a new legal entity, Preston Borough Transport Limited.[1] In 1993 it was sold in a management buyout.[2]

In 2006, Preston Bus was subject to some high profile competition from Stagecoach North West. Competition escalated into a bus war[3] with Stagecoach offering lower fares on the busiest routes.[4]

The managing director of Preston bus was concerned Stagecoach could force his company out of business.[5]

Both companies accused each other of unprofessional behaviour.[6] On 10 June 2008, both companies agreed to a code of practice by the traffic commissioner.[7] The competition continued, with Stagecoach operating routes within Preston and Preston Bus commencing a service between Preston and Penwortham, and a limited service between Preston and Southport, duplicating existing Stagecoach routes.

On 23 January 2009, Preston Bus was sold to Stagecoach.[8][9][10]

The routes operated by Preston Bus were rebranded as Stagecoach in Preston from March 2009.

In November 2009 the Competition Commission ruled that the takeover by Stagecoach had adversely affected competition in the area and ordered Stagecoach sell Preston Bus.[11][12][13]

Following this ruling, the Preston Bus name and logo was reinstated and the company was operated at arms length from the main Stagecoach business. In January 2011 Preston Bus was sold to Rotala.[14][15][16]


The Preston Bus fleet was originally all double deckers, but latterly the company moved to single deckers and minibuses, with the most common vehicle in 2008 being the Optare Solo midibus.

As at February 2014 the fleet consisted of 102 buses.[17] Until the 1970s fleet livery was cream and red when a blue and cream scheme was introduced. Upon the sale to Rotala a cream, green and blue livery was introduced in 2011.

See also


  1. 1 2 Companies House extract company no 2004022 Preston Bus Limited formerly Preston Borough Transport Limited
  2. The History of Public Transport in Preston Preston Bus
  3. How Preston's bus wars have been fought Lancashire Evening Post 8 October 2007
  4. Bus giant accused of 'dirty tactics' Lancashire Evening Post 19 October 2007
  5. Preston's bus war... it won't be over for Christmas Lancashire Evening Post 9 November 2007
  6. Legal loophole delay for egg-throwing drivers Lancashire Evening Post 31 October 2007
  7. Preston bus and Stagecoach agree a code of conduct Preston Bus
  8. Stagecoach set to buy Preston Bus 9 January 2009
  9. Stagecoach Completes Acquisition of Preston Bus Stagecoach 23 January 2009
  10. We were forced to sell Lancashire Evening Post 26 January 2009
  11. Preston Bus to be Sold Competition Commission 11 November 2009
  12. Company must sell 'bus war' rival BBC News 11 November 2009
  13. Stagecoach must sell Preston Bus Lancashire Evening Post 11 November 2009
  14. Preston bus sold...again Lancashire Evening News 19 January 2011
  15. Acquisition Rotala plc 25 January 2011
  16. Stagecoach sells 'rival' Preston Bus Ltd for £3.2m BBC News 25 January 2011
  17. Preston Bus North West Buses
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