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:''This article describes the bus group, for the Grampian Regional Transport bus company and successors/predecessors, see
First Aberdeen First AberdeenCompanies House extract company no SC097420
...
'' GRT Group was a bus operating company in the United Kingdom from 1989 until 1995. It was formed when Grampian Regional Transport (GRT) was privatised. It went on to purchase a number of bus companies in England and Scotland. In April 1994, GRT Group was listed on the stock exchange, and in June 1995 merged with
Badgerline Badgerline was a bus operator in and around Bristol from 1985 until 2003. Its headquarters were in Weston-super-Mare. Initially a part of the Bristol Omnibus Company, it was privatised in September 1986 and sold to Badgerline#Badgerline Holdings, ...
to form FirstBus.


History

The GRT Group was formed as a holding company to purchase Grampian Regional Transport, the city bus operator in
Aberdeen Aberdeen (; sco, Aiberdeen, ; gd, Obar Dheathain ; la, Aberdonia) is a city in northeast Scotland. It is the List of towns and cities in Scotland by population, third most populous city in Scotland, one of Scotland's 32 Local government in S ...

Aberdeen
, Scotland, in a management buyout. Motivation for the buyout was the 1988 announcement that the
Scottish Bus Group The Scottish Bus Group (SBG) was a Sovereign state, state-owned group of bus operators covering the whole of mainland Scotland. The origin of the grouping was the operators owned by and including the Scottish Motor Traction company, which were t ...
was to be privatised, sparking fears that GRT could be acquired by a larger group and asset stripped. The buyout was achieved on 20 January 1989. General Manager
Moir Lockhead Sir Moir Lockhead Order of the British Empire, OBE Doctor honoris causa, DHC (born 25 April 1945 in County Durham, England) is an English businessman. He was Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of UK transport group FirstGroup. Originally a mechani ...
, together with four other managers, took a 51% stake in the new company, with employees holding 33%, and
Aberdeen Asset Management Aberdeen Asset Management was an international investment management Investment management is the professional asset management of various securities, including shareholdings, bonds, and other asset In financial accountancy, financial accou ...
and 3i the remaining 16%. At the time GRT had a fleet of 200 buses and 500 employees.Interview with Moir Lockhead
''Railway People'' 11 April 2006
GRT Group went on to purchase other bus operators in England and Scotland. In April 1994, it was listed on the stock exchange. In June 1995, GRT Group merged with
Badgerline Badgerline was a bus operator in and around Bristol from 1985 until 2003. Its headquarters were in Weston-super-Mare. Initially a part of the Bristol Omnibus Company, it was privatised in September 1986 and sold to Badgerline#Badgerline Holdings, ...
to form FirstBus. GRT Group contributed 1,600 buses to the new company's fleet of 5,600.


Acquisitions

As GRT Holdings: *
Midland Scottish Midland Scottish Omnibuses Ltd was a bus operating subsidiary of the Scottish Transport Group The Scottish Bus Group (SBG) was a Sovereign state, state-owned group of bus operators covering the whole of mainland Scotland. The origin of the ...
September 1990 (ex
Scottish Bus Group The Scottish Bus Group (SBG) was a Sovereign state, state-owned group of bus operators covering the whole of mainland Scotland. The origin of the grouping was the operators owned by and including the Scottish Motor Traction company, which were t ...
) * Northampton Transport October 1993 (ex Northampton Council) *First Leicester, Leicester CityBus November 1993 (ex Leicester City Council) As GRT Bus Group plc: *First Norfolk & Suffolk, Eastern Counties July 1994 (ex National Bus Company (UK), National Bus Company)Page detailing the history of Northampton Transport, detailing other GRT acquisitions
/ref> *Eastern Scottish, Scottish Motor Traction October 1994 (ex
Scottish Bus Group The Scottish Bus Group (SBG) was a Sovereign state, state-owned group of bus operators covering the whole of mainland Scotland. The origin of the grouping was the operators owned by and including the Scottish Motor Traction company, which were t ...
) *Lowland Scottish November 1994 (ex
Scottish Bus Group The Scottish Bus Group (SBG) was a Sovereign state, state-owned group of bus operators covering the whole of mainland Scotland. The origin of the grouping was the operators owned by and including the Scottish Motor Traction company, which were t ...
) Midland Scottish, Eastern Counties, Scottish Motor Traction and Lowland Scottish, were regional companies, with operating territories stretching over large areas comprising town and interurban services. The Northampton and Leicester operations were town based networks, like Grampian.


Livery

As GRT Group, the company had developed a form of corporate livery dictated by an arrangement of a horizontal and diagonal bands over a base colour. The colour scheme of the bands were derived from colours representative of the subsidiary company, while the base colour was chosen as cream. Lowland Scottish, however, opted to use yellow for its base colour. The companies retained their own version of a company logo. Some companies developed an alternate livery with a gold band for the introduction of new buses. With the formation of FirstBus, the former GRT companies retained its corporate livery, with the individual company logos replaced with the company name in a new standard corporate typeface, along with a stylised ''f'' symbol representing FirstBus.


References

{{Defunct British Bus Companies FirstGroup Former bus operators in Scotland 3i Group companies 1989 establishments in Scotland 1995 disestablishments in Scotland Former bus operators in Northamptonshire Former bus operators in Leicestershire Former bus operators in Norfolk Former bus operators in Suffolk Former bus operators in Cambridgeshire