Trivia: Largest town/city not serviced by any of the major bus groups (excluding NI)?

67thave

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With the dominance of First, Arriva, Stagecoach, and Go-Ahead in much of the UK, I wonder what the largest place in the country is (not including Northern Ireland) that lacks any sort of bus service operated by any of these four companies?

The first place that popped into my head as a potential candidate is Aberystwyth (pop. 16k), but I feel like there are plenty of places much larger than it that none of the major bus groups reach.
 
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NorthOxonian

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If you're specifically looking at those firms, might it be somewhere like West Bromwich or Dudley?

However, you could argue National Express West Midlands are a major operator, so it's a slightly niche answer. They are also parts of a wider urban area, which might disqualify them.
 

Robertj21a

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(Assuming that National Express West Midlands should be in a Big 5).

Buxton ?
 

cnjb8

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67thave

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As mentioned, if you don't include NXWM as a major, then Solihull (123K). Otherwise, Harrogate (75k)?
Solihull looks very well like it could be it.
But if NXWM is considered to be a major in such a circumstance, then Transdev is most likely also a major by that same logic.
That would disqualify both under such circumstances.
 

bobslack1982

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Solihull looks very well like it could be it.
But if NXWM is considered to be a major in such a circumstance, then Transdev is most likely also a major by that same logic.
That would disqualify both under such circumstances.
Not really. NXWM has 1,600 buses roughly while Transdev only has 550.
 

Ken H

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I havent looked but Nottingham. Seems to be all municipal and trent-barton.
 

daodao

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East Lancashire and Keighley are served mainly by Transdev, so Keighley, Nelson and Colne fulfil the criteria. Accrington doesn't seem to have any regular (non-college) services available for public use operated by any of the big 4 bus companies.
 

WM Bus

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Stourport is served by Rotala on the 3 and Astons of Kempsey . Google says population of 20, 292. Rotala are probably going to be smaller than National Express.
 
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Ken H

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East Lancashire and Keighley are served mainly by Transdev, so Keighley, Nelson and Colne fulfil the criteria. Accrington doesn't seem to have any regular (non-college) services available for public use operated by any of the big 4 bus companies.
Keighley has the Halifax - Keighley service operated by Arriva subsidiary Yorkshire tiger. Till Transdev take them over later this year.
But I reckon transdev are a major.
 

Bristol LHS

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Stourport is served by Rotala on the 3 and Astons of Kempsey . Google says population of 20, 292. Rotala are probably going to be smaller than National Express.

On that basis, Northallerton (pop c.18k) might be in with a shout. Dales and District, Abbots and Hodgsons, with occasional seasonal appearance from Reliance on Moorsbus, and the North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) town service.
 
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mikeg

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Was thinking Northallerton myself given that I live there. All well and good, but we'd kill for the likes of Arriva, First or Go Ahead. The local services are crap. Heck, I'd even take Stagecoach (don't like them) or Rotala (not a big company but better than the current arrangement).

Rotala are definitely much smaller than National Express, whose market share is inflated by their dominant presence in our second city. Also bigger by market cap by a factor of about 110, though that includes foreign operations, coaches etc. as well as ownership differences and plain old market sentiment.

Does Harrogate have any of the big four operators? I know there's transdev but they don't count as per the OP. Incidentally when the last competition review was published into buses, it referred to the big five, First, Stagecoach, Arriva , NEX and Go Ahead in no particular order.
 
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Ken H

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Good shout for Harrogate. Looked on bus times and its all Transdev & Connexions. Think Roadrunner is part of Connexions?

When Transdev take over Yorkshire Tiger, where will they end up in the rankings of say the top 10? Someone must have a spreadsheet with columns: number of buses, number of staff and annual turnover!
 
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43055

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Does Harrogate have any of the big four operators? I know there's transdev but they don't count as per the OP. Incidentally when the last competition review was published into buses, it referred to the big five, First, Stagecoach, Arriva , NEX and Go Ahead in no particular order.
Good shout for Harrogate. Looked on bus times and its all Transdev & Connexions. Think Roadrunner is part of Connexions?
Roadrunner is part of Connexions. Harrogate use to have Arriva once a week on the 825 I think but that is now run by Transdev.
 

Andyh82

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Roadrunner is part of Connexions. Harrogate use to have Arriva once a week on the 825 I think but that is now run by Transdev.
Harrogate also used to have the 737 run by Yorkshire Tiger until last year when Transdev won the contract (seperate from then subsequently acquiring the business)
 

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