Thu, 1 December 2022

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Transport
Transport
By Silviya Barrett
Economy
Transport
Transport
Press releases

Go-Ahead expands in south-west England through acquisition of Dartline

Go-Ahead expands in south-west England through acquisition of Dartline

Go-Ahead

3 min read Partner content
  • Exeter-based bus and coach operator to join Go South West
  • Acquisition adds 118 employees and 84 buses
  • Complementary geographical fit alongside Plymouth Citybus, Go Devon Bus, and Go Cornwall Bus

The Go-Ahead Group has agreed to buy Dartline, a bus and coach operator based in Exeter, which will build on the group’s position as a leading local transport operator in Devon and Cornwall.

A well-established business with 30 years’ experience in the region, Dartline operates a fleet of 84 buses, coaches and special education needs taxis, and employs 118 people.

Dartline provides essential services for commuters, schools, day trippers local communities across East Devon. Its bus routes are a mixture of commercial routes and services operated under contract for Devon County Council.

Dartline’s coach division provides tours and private hire services. The company operates the team coach for Exeter Chiefs rugby union team.

Go-Ahead has grown rapidly in the West Country. From its origins as Plymouth Citybus, the group expanded into East Cornwall in 2014, and again in 2020 through an eight-year contract to deliver rural bus routes from Lands End to the Tamar for the county council, creating Go Cornwall Bus. The combined operation was given a new corporate identity as Go South West. 

Following the acquisition of Dartline, Go South West, an Investors in People Platinum accredited company, will comprise of four customer facing brands operating 380 buses and coaches, employing a workforce of 900 people.

Richard Stevens, Managing Director of Go South West, said:

“We’ve been admirers of Dartline for a long time – it’s a family focused, well run bus company with a strong reputation and a competitive fleet. This acquisition will take us into wider Devon, and will mean that Go South West bus services stretch from the western tip of Cornwall to the Devon, Dorset and Somerset border.

“Operating as a standalone business, we will maintain Dartline’s strong focus on delivering for local communities, and we will invest in growing and adding services in mid and east Devon.”

Dave Hounslow, Managing Director of Dartline, said:

"I reached the grand age of 70 this year and decided its time to hand the reins to a progressive company like Go Ahead, the brand will continue as Dartline and all the staff will be maintained. Having started Dartline on 4th January 1987 with 8 Vehicles and building it to its size today I feel proud that it will continue under the new Management."

Christian Schreyer, Group Chief Executive, The Go-Ahead Group, said:

“We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues at Dartline into the group. This acquisition underlines Go-Ahead’s commitment to expand in the regional bus market in the UK, as set out in our group strategy, The Next Billion Journeys.”

Categories

Transport
Associated Organisation
Podcast
Engineering a Better World

The Engineering a Better World podcast series from The House magazine and the IET is back for series two! New host Jonn Elledge discusses with parliamentarians and industry experts how technology and engineering can provide policy solutions to our changing world.

NEW SERIES - Listen now