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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing