News

The French could be running more of Britain’s transport network after state transport group Keolis/Eurostar was named one of three shortlisted bidders for the reprivatisation of the East Coast franchise.

FirstGroup boards US school buses for pounds 602m

BRITAIN'S LARGEST bus company, FirstGroup, yesterday made its first major overseas move, agreeing to pay pounds 602m for America's second largest school bus operator.

Outlook: A convenient excuse for Sainsbury's

THE STOCK market was expecting more bad news from Sainsbury's yesterday and duly got it. But it certainly wasn't expecting this perennial stock market struggler to announce a hell for leather expansion in convenience stores, opening 200 Sainsbury's Locals in three years with plans for an astonishing 1,000 in the longer term.

Investment: Should you invest in... air travel?

THE CHOICE for the UK investor looking for involvement in the air travel sector is limited. "From the UK major capitalisation point of view, there are only really two stocks, British Airports (BAA) and British Airways (BA)," says Jon Thornton of Aberdeen Asset Management.

FirstGroup set to boost guided buses

FIRSTGROUP, the rail, bus and airport operator, plans a dramatic expansion of its network of "guided" bus routes after the runaway success of the concept in increasing passenger numbers.

Cover Story: The reining-in of the Stagecoach Kids

No stunt was too naff for Brian Souter and his sister Ann Gloag, co-founders of Stagecoach. But with the publicity came the unwelcome attention of the OFT and a growing image problem. That was until the chino-wearing Souter brought in the suit-wearing Mike Kinski (left), and buttoned-up sobriety became the order of the day

Podium: How we can improve our buses

From a speech by Salford University's reader in geography to the Royal Geographical Society conference

People and; Business: BCCI 'stigma' case is Cherie's chance to shine

CHERIE BOOTH, wife of Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, launched the most important court battle of her barrister's career this week on behalf of 950 former employees of BCCI.

The National Network: Which Companies Are Getting There And Which Are Showing The Strain?

Runs fast trains to East Anglia. Punctuality fell in all seven route groups with one triggering discounts under the Passengers' Charter. Recently raised the standards in its charter, offering better compensation and higher service standards.

Market Report: Safeway puts Footsie on a lean diet

SAFEWAY, the supermarket chain where profits are under pressure, fell 6.5p to 276p, uncomfortably close to the 12-month low. Half-year profits are due today and they are expected to be disappointing: say, 17 per cent down at pounds 190m. For the year the market has pencilled in pounds 360m, which would represent a near-pounds 20m increase on last year but below the pounds 400m of earlier times.

The week ahead: Get ready for the mid cap comeback

ARE THE 250 underperforming constituents of the mid cap index about to shed the doubts which have enveloped them for two years? Philip Wolstencroft of investment house Merrill Lynch thinks so. He says: "We remain positive on mid cap stocks compared to big caps."

Market Report: Bankers' gloom exaggerates slump

BANKS ENDURED another pounding as Footsie crashed 156.2 points to 4,908.2 - its lowest since December. At one time the index was down to 4,881.3. It was financials, led by the banks, which powered the index through much of its long bull run. Now the gloom engulfing the nation's banking parlours is, to some extent, exaggerating the slump.

Big-ticket battle for bus maker

News Analysis: A pounds 255m bid by Mayflower trumps an agreed offer for the bus and fire-engine maker Dennis

DTI reverses bus sale order

THE SALE of a bus company owned by FirstGroup, the transport company, was blocked yesterday by the Department of Trade and Industry after ministers watered down recommendations made by competition authorities.

Investment Column: FirstGroup can travel further

HAS FIRSTGROUP, the buses-to-airports group, travelled too far, too fast? Since the beginning of 1998, the shares have nearly doubled in price, from 223p to 431.5p. Earnings per share have gone up by 30 per cent every year for the past three years. Can it sustain this sort of pace?

Penny stocks pay off for Mainline

MORE THAN 2,300 employees of Mainline, a Yorkshire bus company, were yesterday told they would receive payouts worth up to pounds 32,000 each if they vote in favour a takeover in three weeks time.
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam