The footprint of UK bus operators

2 Oct 2017 by Jonathan Raper

Future Cities Catapult recently asked us what areas UK bus operators cover. We deal with data from over a thousand UK bus operators. In general an operator will run bus services within a particular region, but some larger ones (and particularly operating “groups”) cover multiple regions. We decided to take a look at some of the big ones, to learn more about their geographical “footprint” on a map:

The bus operators (and groups) featured here are:

Go Ahead (brown) are the main operator in London. National Express (purple) are big in the West Midlands. The next biggest cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, & Bristol, are operated by First Group (blue), while Stagecoach (orange) and (arriva) are tending to focus smaller cities, towns and rural services.


Just looking at these large operators is interesting, and shows some patterns we might not have been aware of, but there’s clearly more detail buried in the data to be explored. Working with FCC, we’re going to be looking at geographic coverage of some of the smaller operators, and looking at different ways of presenting this information.