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on 18 November 2014
This was my second Christian Wolmar book, after 'Down the Tubes' and it did not disappoint, well researched and nicely written. I personally really like Christian's style of writing. Gives background to a company - Stagecoach - that I have seen many times (although to be honest not used that much). Gave great insight into Brian Souter leaving me with a certain sense of admiration, even after knowing some of the so called 'dirty' tricks used in the bus wars.

Like 'Down the Tubes' my only gripe is that this book was written a few years back, and whilst there is an update as to recent developments at the end. It reads a bit disjointed ... what I'd love is for Christian to expand massively upon the updates.

Have just purchased and have to read another 2 of his books (On the wrong line & Great Railway revolution). Can't wait!!
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on 23 March 2013
My two qualifications for reviewing this book are : 1. A devoted follower of the teachings of transport guru Christian. 2. An ex Stagecoach bus driver (retired) . It is a well written book , as you might expect from Mr Wolmar . The deep level of research is obvious as is his tenacity in seeking the coperation of Sir Brian , not an altogether easy task, I would imagine. The content , at times is complex and somewhat daunting , requiring a great deal of concentration. Not a relaxing laid back works by any means more a heavyish slog.
Recommended , if you require a thorough grounding in Public Transport politics.
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Christian Wolmar brought his beady eye and analysis in 1999 to (then a mostly bus company but now huge transport conglomerate) Stagecoach and the brother and sister Souter/Gloag whose dynamism and sometimes questionable lack of scruples literally blazed a trail through the staid, inefficient and municipality-dominated industry. Wolmar cuts back on the moral judgements, but the litany of complaints from competitors, staff members and even the paying public, leave little doubt that Stagecoach's success is very much a mixed blessing for the UK transport scene. As owners of my "local" rail company, East Midlands Trains, I am distinctly unimpressed with both the fares and the timetabling (try getting back from London by train after even an early evening engagement) - but I guess Victoribus Spolia - to coin a phrase
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on 26 December 2013
Well worth reading if you are interested in the transport business. Takes a hard and balanced look at Stagecoach and how it conducts its businesses. Reveals also how poor our government is at planning ahead and seeing potential pitfalls even when they are pointed out......
Becomes slightly "bitty" towards the end though and, in Kindle form, a few grammar errors have crept in.
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on 8 December 2000
The press reviews give a good summary of what this book is all about. It covers the company history and its operations style. You are unlikely to rush out to drive one of their buses.
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on 23 December 2013
an honest and detailed piece of work. Well written and an excellent blend of broad strokes and fascinating detail. The 2012 update interview brings the story up-to-date. As an exercise in business journalism it takes some beating. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 21 February 2016
A good insight into Stagecoach's growth. Later chapters get a bit bogged down in the subsidies but keep going and its a worthwhile read if you are interested in Stagecoach or the privatisation process of the buses and train lines
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on 14 February 2014
The classic rags to riches story, how the small man took on the big boys and beat them. Stagecoach changed the face of British bus companies for good. Even if you have no interest in buses it's a great read.
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on 28 April 2013
Very interesting book.More so if you are interested in buses and coaches. Giving full details of stagecoach from start to present day.
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on 25 October 2014
A fascinating story of creating wealth using correct and lucky views of market turmoil stirred up by short sighted politicians.
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