Celebrating 20 years of National Express in Dundee
Xplore Dundee is this month celebrating its 20th anniversary of joining the National Express Group.
The company, which was then known as Tayside Buses, was sold to National Express in February 1997 and re-named Travel Dundee. Since then it has undergone a number of transformations, becoming National Express Dundee just over ten years later, and finally rebranding as Xplore Dundee in September 2015.
The bus operator has seen a great number of developments and achievements during the past decades, including:
- 1997 – National Express purchases Tayside Buses
- 2001 – Travel Centre opens in Commercial Street, Dundee
- 2004 – 100% low floor bus fleet
- 2008 – Rebrand to National Express Dundee
- 2010 – Smart ticket machines introduced
- 2011 – DC Thomson branding – Dennis the Menace and Oor Wullie joined the 22 and 28/29 services
- 2013 – Nine hybrid-electric double decker buses join the fleet
- 2015 – Xplore Dundee becomes Living Wage Foundation employer
- 2015 – Rebrand from National Express Dundee to Xplore Dundee
- 2016 – ABC multi-operator smart ticket is launched for Dundee and surrounding areas
- 2017 – National Express UK Bus Values Awards presented for safety, community and engineering
National Express Group remains the parent company of Xplore Dundee and operates other bus services within the UK in the West Midlands and Coventry, as well as the Midland Metro tram service between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
The group also runs the largest scheduled national coach network in the UK and owns a number of overseas operations, including school buses in North America, rail services in Germany and the ALSA network of buses in Spain and Morocco. The group employs 44,000 people worldwide.
Staff in Dundee work closely with bus and coach colleagues in the West Midlands, sharing expertise and best practice, and the team strives to live up to National Express Group’s core values, receiving recognition recently in the form of Values Awards for their dedication to safety, work in the community and excellence in engineering.
However the focus of Xplore Dundee’s operations remain in Dundee, where it provides essential public transport services right across the city, enabling people to get to their jobs, homes, friends and family.
Managing Director Elsie Turbyne said:
“We are proud to be a part of the National Express family and delighted to mark 20 years of working alongside colleagues across Britain and the rest of the world.
“We have seen a great many changes in that time – people have come and gone, vehicles have been bought and sold, and the city of Dundee looks very different indeed! However one thing has been consistent and will continue to be: we work hard to live up to the values of National Express Group by providing a safe, good value and high quality bus service to the people of this city and we will continue to do so throughout this anniversary year, and beyond.”
Photograph above shows:
Left: February 1997 - Jack Henry (Tayside PTC), Phil White (National Express) and Dundee Lord Provost Mervyn Rolfe, and right: February 2017 - Marc Winsland (Commercial Assistant Xplore Dundee), Frank Sheach (Engineering Manager Xplore Dundee) and Deputy Lord Provost Christina Roberts recreate the 1997 photo taken close to the Waterfront, Dundee