Mobico Group - National Express Group Operational Safety Concerns - B

Mobico Group - B
National Express Group Operational Safety Concerns
  • On 3 January 2007, a speeding National Express coach overturned on the M4/M25 slip road, leaving three passengers dead. The driver was jailed for five years.
  • In July 2009, a junior transport minister, the Gillingham MP Paul Clark, listed a series of concerns to National Express in a letter following a meeting with an employee of National Express East Coast who lives in his constituency. The worker claimed that, due to reduced maintenance checks, some trains were in use with defective brakes, an allegation that was strongly denied by the company, which stated it would "never compromise on safety". He wrote: "As a result of reduced maintenance checks, 'some long-haul train sets are in use with brake defects'.
Increasing cuts in staff combined with an increasing pressure to ensure that trains run safely has resulted in fears among staff that a major accident is 'just around the corner'." Passengers, he added, "have been 'poisoned' as a result of coffee machines not being cleaned correctly, with cleaning fluids left in situ". The minister said he was "shocked and appalled at the information with which I've been provided. You will understand that these allegations are exceptionally serious".
School bus drivers in the US have raised concerns about the safety of the buses run by Durham, a subsidiary of National Express, and the second-largest operator of school bus services in North America. According to representatives of Durham bus drivers, fluid leaks, tyres that need to be replaced, black mould and non-functional emergency equipment are regular concerns, whilst workers continued to operate buses while sick because they cannot afford to miss a day of work and drivers are not paid for all the time they work.
Mobico Group Default on East Coast Rail Franchise
  • By 2009, National Express East Coast had come under increasing financial pressure due to various factors, including compounding rises in fuel prices and the poor economic climate of the time, commonly known as the Great Recession. In contrast to the company's projected revenue increases during its franchise, NXEC's actual operating income (generated primarily from ticket sales) had decreased by 1 percent during the first half of 2009.
According to Rail, the franchise had quickly garnered a reputation for cost-cutting and a decline in service levels, particularly in terms of the onboard catering. It had also introduced various new charges, such as a £2.50 per journey leg for seat reservations.
  • During April 2009, National Express confirmed that the company was still pursuing talks with the government over possible financial assistance with the franchise, either through a reduction in the premium due or some other form of assistance. During these negotiations, the company had reportedly offered to pay over £100 million to be released from its commitment to operate the franchise.
  • In July 2009, the Department for Transport announced that it would take the National Express East Coast franchise into public ownership at the end of the year after National Express announced it would not invest any further funds into the franchise, effectively declaring it planned to default. In defaulting on the franchise, National Express directly incurred losses of £72 million by forfeiting bonds. Directly Operated Railways took over the East Coast franchise on 14 November 2009.
The franchise failure sparked public and industry calls for the permanent public ownership of the InterCity East Coast franchise, or even the complete scrapping of the entire franchise system. In November 2009, the government announced that National Express East Anglia would not be granted a three-year extension that it had otherwise qualified for, this was reportedly a result of the East Coast default. However, National Express were subsequently granted an extension until October 2011, followed by another through to February 2012.
Mobico Group Prospective Takeover
With the company's finances under stress largely as a result of having overbid for the National Express East Coast rail franchise, National Express became a takeover target in 2009. In June 2009, a takeover offer from fellow transport operator FirstGroup was rejected.
  • On 3 September 2009, National Express' largest shareholder, Spain's Cosmen family with 18.5%, and CVC Capital Partners made a takeover offer of £765 million for the company. The Takeover Panel set a deadline of 11 September 2009 for all prospective bids.
  • During September 2009, National Express agreed to allow the Cosmen/CVC consortium to undertake due diligence. During the following month, the Cosmen/CVC consortium had reportedly reached an agreement to sell the UK bus and rail operations to rival transport operator Stagecoach Group if its offer was successful. The deadline for offers was subsequently extended to 16 October 2009.
  • On 16 October 2009, the Cosmen/CVC consortium announced that they had withdrawn their offer. That same day, Stagecoach submitted its own all-share bid to acquire National Express. This, too, did not proceed and, in November 2009, National Express announced it would raise the necessary capital through a share issue.
Mobico Group Overview
Mobico Group Formerly: National Express Group
Mobico Group Type: Public limited
Mobico Group Traded As: LSE: MCG
Mobico Group Industry: Public transport
Founded 1972: National Express branding
Mobico Group 1992: National Express Group plc
Mobico Group Founder: National Bus Company
Headquarters: Birmingham, England
Mobico Group Area Served:
North America
Mobico Group Key People:
Helen Weir
Ignacio Garat
(Group Chief Executive)
Mobico Group Services:
Mobico Group Revenue Increase: £2,807.5 million (2022)
Mobico Group Operating Income: Increase £197.3 million (2022)
Mobico Group Net Income: Decrease £(220.7) million (2022)
Mobico Group Number of Employees: 44,500 (2023)
Mobico Group Subsidiaries: Clarkes of London
The Kings Ferry
Lucketts Travel
National Express Coaches
National Express Coventry
National Express Germany
National Express West Midlands
Rail Holidays
Rail Vacations
Luxury Trains
Luxury Tours
International Trains
International Tours
home Rail-Pass & Train Tickets & International Rail Holidays Hotel Booking & Hotel Reservations & Hotel Accomodation B&B Booking & B&B Reservations & B&B Accommodation Hostel Booking & Youth Hostel Reservations & Hostel Accommodation Chalet Rental & Holiday Homes & Vacation Homes Ski Pass Booking & Ski Pass Reservations & Ski Lift Pass Flight Tickets & Airline Reservations & Flight Booking Ferry Tickets & Ferry Booking & Ferry Reservations Car Rental Booking & Car Hire Reservations Excursions & Days Out & Day Trips & Theme Parks Rail Pass Booking & Rail Pass Reservations & Eurail & Interrail Rail Tickets & Rail Reservations & International Train Tickets Weekend Trips & Weekend Breaks & Weekend Away  Travel Insurance & Business Travel Insurance Eurotunnel Tickets & Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Reservations