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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis