- Bus and train company Stagecoach said passenger demand in its regional bus division had improved in recent weeks, putting it on course to meet its previous earnings expectations.

The company, which recently agreed to a takeover proposal from rival National Express, said journey numbers in the regional bus business were in excess of 70% of equivalent 2019 levels by the end of September.

The recovery was being assisted by the return of schools and universities to in-person learning across the UK.

For the week ended 2 October 2021, journey numbers were 70.1% of the figure for the equivalent period in 2019, fare paying journey numbers were 74.4% and concessionary journey numbers were 60.2%.

Stagecoach also said it was 'pleased with the continued strong operational and financial performance' of our London bus business.

As for the train division, it said its ongoing Sheffield Supertram business was receiving government payments for continuing the essential tram services it provided.

Stagecoach said discussions with National Express and reciprocal customary due diligence remained ongoing and there could be no certainty that any offer would be made.

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