London Central and London General are relatively new bus companies, being formed in 1989 in preparation for the privatisation of London Buses Limited. However, both companies’ origins can be traced back to one of the original pioneers of bus operations in the capital, the London General Omnibus Company Limited (LGOC).
LGOC, or “General” as it was known, operated services throughout the capital and was absorbed into the new London Transport Executive in 1933. London Transport became synonymous with the red London bus until the bus operation was segregated in 1985, becoming London Buses Ltd and London Underground Ltd.
Upon privatisation in autumn 1994, London Central was purchased by the Go-Ahead Group, who are based in Newcastle, which itself was formed on the privatisation of Northern General Transport Ltd, previously part of the National Bus Company. London General was initially purchased by an employee / management team, being subsequently acquired by the Go-Ahead Group in the summer of 1996. These purchases were part of a policy of expansion by the Go-Ahead Group which continues today.
1994 Go-Ahead purchases London Central Bus Company Limited
1996 Go-Ahead purchases London General Transport Services Limited
2006 Docklands Minibuses Ltd is acquired
2007 Blue Triangle Buses Ltd is acquired
2009 Go-Ahead London takes over the East Thames Buses operation from Transport for London
2012 Northumberland Park Depot purchased from First Group
2014 The London operations of Metrobus are transferred to Go-Ahead London