Go-Ahead London
Company typeTfL bus operator
FoundedSeptember 1994; 29 years ago (1994-09)
Headquarters18 Merton High Street, London, England
Area served
Greater London
Key people
David Cutts (Managing Director)
Number of employees
ParentGo-Ahead Group
Websitewww.goaheadlondon.com Edit this at Wikidata

Go-Ahead London is a major bus operator in Greater London. The name first appeared in August 2008, before which the company had traded under separate names and brands. It is currently (as of February 2023) the largest bus operator in Greater London, operating a total of 153 bus routes mainly in South and Central London as well as some services into North and East London with a fleet size of over 2,400 vehicles under contract to Transport for London.[1]


The Go-Ahead Group is a large transport group based in Newcastle. It first became involved in London bus operations in September 1994, whereupon the privatisation of London Buses, it purchased London Central for £23.8 million.[2] In May 1996, it added another former London Buses subsidiary, London General, which had been sold in 1994 to a management buyout for £46 million.[3][4] These two companies subsequently developed in much the same way, both establishing a livery of red with a charcoal skirt and yellow relief band, and splitting orders for new buses.

Further expansion did not occur until September 2006, when Docklands Buses was purchased.[5] On 29 June 2007, the Go-Ahead purchased Blue Triangle. With these purchases, Go-Ahead surpassed Arriva London to become the largest operator of buses in London, running around 16% of London bus services.

A corporate image for Go-Ahead's London bus services started to appear in August 2008, when a new Go-Ahead London logo was unveiled.[6]

In 2009, Transport for London invited bids for the sale of their own bus operations which ran under the East Thames Buses brand. Go-Ahead London were selected as the preferred bidder and assumed full responsibility for 10 routes and two depots in October that year. The East Thames brand was replaced with the Go-Ahead London brand. The East Thames operations were initially absorbed under the London General arm of Go-Ahead's London business. However, after some route movements and allocation changes some of the services now run under the London Central.

On 30 March 2012, Go-Ahead purchased Northumberland Park Garage from First London with all routes brought under the London General wing.[7]

On 1 April 2014, Go-Ahead restructured its Metrobus business, with the management of the Transport for London contracted services passing to the control of Go-Ahead London, with the remaining services administered by Brighton & Hove from 1 July 2014. Services are now operated under an expanded London General licence, however the Metrobus trading name is retained.[8] London General's licence was formally increased by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency on 25 April 2014.[9][10]

In November 2024, Go-Ahead London is taking over the Fastrack routes, which will introduce electric buses. The Fastrack network runs from Dartford, Bluewater, Greenhithe, Ebbsfleet and Gravesend.

Current subsidiaries

The current subsidiaries of Go-Ahead London are, in order of acquisition:


  1. ^ "Bus Fleet Audit (31 March 2022)" (PDF). Transport for London. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  2. ^ "GAG buys London Central". Coach & Bus Week. No. 136. Peterborough: Emap. 1 October 1994.
  3. ^ "London General sell to Go-Ahead". Bus & Coach Buyer. No. 360. Spalding: Glen-Holland Limited. 31 May 1996. p. 2.
  4. ^ "Annual Report year ended 29 June 1996" (PDF). Go-Ahead Group. 19 September 1996. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Go-Ahead Group - London Central and London General". Archived from the original on 6 November 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  6. ^ "Go-Ahead London - Homepage". Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  7. ^ "Go-Ahead to buy First's Northumberland Park Depot". Coach & Bus Week. Peterborough: Emap. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  8. ^ Go-Ahead London welcomes Metrobus garages into fold Bus Talk (Go-Ahead London) issue 27 April 2014
  9. ^ "Metrobus within Go-Ahead London" The London Bus (London Omnibus Traction Society) issue 598 June 2014 page 7
  10. ^ "Go-Ahead London" Buses issue 713 August 2014 page 71