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Bus on Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston (Crop).jpg
Optare Solo in Ilkeston in May 2012
Slogan the really good bus company
Parent Wellglade Group
Founded October 1913
Headquarters Heanor
Locale Nottinghamshire
Service area Derbyshire
Service type Bus services
Hubs Nottingham and Derby
Depots 5
Fleet 277 (November 2011)
Chief executive Jeff Counsell

Trent Barton, stylised as trentbarton, is a bus operator based in Heanor, Derbyshire. It is a subsidiary of the Wellglade Group


Preserved Leyland National in Trent Motor Traction Comnpany livery
Barton Plaxton Supreme bodied Leyland Leopard in 1993
Wright Solar bodied Scania L94UB in September 2004

In October 1913 Trent Motor Traction Company[1] was founded and commenced operating a bus service between Derby and Ashbourne. In November 1913 a second service commenced to Stapleford. By 1925 services were operating from Derby, Loughborough and Nottingham. As services expanded the business grew to seven depots.[2]

During the 1930s some 52 smaller operators were bought out. In August 1949 Trent Motor Traction Company began to operate some services in partnership with Derby Corporation. In 1958 following the opening of the A52 an express service commenced between Derby and Nottingham. In 1969 the company became part of the National Bus Company.[2]

As part of the privatisation of the bus industry Trent was sold in a management buyout. In 1989 the business of neighbouring Barton Transport was purchased and placed into a separate legal entity[3] even though both subsidiaries combined their operations on a day-to-day basis. The separate Trent and Barton brands were brought together as 'trentbarton' in 2005.[2]

Trentbarton maintains a 6% shareholding in First Leicester.[4][5]


Trentbarton operate services from Loughborough, Ashbourne, Burton upon Trent, Chesterfield, Derby, Ilkeston, Mansfield, and Nottingham.

Most of the routes are branded with their own bus livery and name, with the route brand name registered as the service number. A set of services were originally branded rainbow but the rainbow brand has been dropped from four of the five services; they are a group of frequent, high density services radiating from Nottingham to its outer suburbs from every 6–12 mins. Many brands are unique, however, there are some brands which are similar to those of other operators.

On 24 July 2011, indigo became the UK's first '24 hours a day – 7 days a week' commercial bus service and up until March 2012 it operated to East Midlands Airport and Loughborough when that section of the route was replaced by a revised Skylink Nottingham service which provides buses up to every 20 minutes to East Midlands Airport, Skylink also offers fast journeys between Long Eaton and Nottingham (avoiding Beeston bus station) as well as continuing on from the Airport to Loughborough hourly through the day Monday – Saturday.

The company runs 'Connection' services from Nottingham to the suburbs of Calverton, Cotgrave and Keyworth. A number of routes combined under the 'Rushcliffe Mainline' and 'Rushcliffe Villager' service labels Bingham and Radcliffe-on-Trent and other nearby villages.

In Derby, Trentbarton run some urban services, such as the non-stop 'spondon flyer' service, and 'the mickleover' and 'the allestree'. There are also a number of longer distance services for example 'swift' to Uttoxeter and 'the sixes' to Belper and Matlock with their unusual numbering system: 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 and 6.X. 'the villager' services run south to Burton on Trent with the numbering system, V1, V2, V3 and V4 and a number of services run north towards Ilkeston and Heanor such as the 'black cat' and 'H1'.

Trentbarton also operate a number of express services around the East Midlands. These include:

Many of the more popular services within the network operate through to around 03:00 on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

High Peak Buses[edit]

Main article: High Peak Buses

In April 2012 Trentbarton entered a 50/50 joint venture with Centrebus. This saw Trentbarton's Buxton operation combined with Bowers Coaches to form High Peak Buses.[6][7][8]

The new company operates all services previously run by Bowers Coaches and the Buxton division of Trentbarton, including the Skyline 199 service from Buxton to Stockport and Manchester Airport, and Transpeak from Derby, Belper, Matlock, Bakewell, Buxton and Stockport to Manchester. The service no longer serves Nottingham, this portion of route being removed in late 2011.

Ticketing schemes[edit]

In June 2008 Trentbarton introduced 'MANGO', a prepaid touchless smartcard system developed in partnership with Init. The system works by having an RFID smartcard with the user 'touching on' at the start of their journey and 'touching off' at the end. This allows for exact fare pricing as your price is calculated by the GPS position of the bus. Users of the 'MANGO' card pay 15% less than the normal cash single fare for their journey.

The 'MANGO' system was initially tested on the company's Rainbow 4 (now i4) and Indigo routes. After this proved successful, trentbarton proceeded to extend the scheme to all of its services.[9][10]


As at November 2012 the fleet consisted of 277 buses.[11]

The company operate a fleet of modern low floor vehicles, most of the fleet is branded for services although a number of buses are in a red livery with various advertisements advertising Trentbarton products such as their 'MANGO' smart card, ZigZag tickets and social media websites.


Trentbarton operate out of depots in Belper, Derby, Langley Mill, Nottingham and Sutton in Ashfield.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 131912 Traction Motor Traction Company Limited
  2. ^ a b c History Trentbarton
  3. ^ Companies House extract company no 2347412 Barton Buses Limited
  4. ^ Government Approves 19th Bus Sale of Leicester Citybus Ltd Local Government Chronicle 15 November 1993
  5. ^ FirstGroup Annual Report March 2013 FirstGroup
  6. ^ Companies House extract company no 7623806 High Peak Buses Limited
  7. ^ Wellglade/Centrebus join up in Buxton 24 May 2011
  8. ^ New bus operator hits the road Trentbarton
  9. ^ Trent Barton starts rollout with integrated solution Init June 2008
  10. ^ Bus heartbeats busandcoach,com 12 December 2012
  11. ^ The Wellgrade Group Fleetlist Derby Bus Depot

External links[edit]