Transport Holding Company

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Transport Holding Company
Type Statutory corporation [lower-roman 1]
Predecessor British Transport Commission [lower-roman 2]
Founded1 September 1962;60 years ago (1962-09-01) [lower-roman 3]
Defunct31 March 1973;49 years ago (1973-03-31) [5]
Fate Dissolved [lower-roman 4]
Successor National Freight Corporation [lower-roman 5]

The Transport Holding Company (THC) was a British Government-owned company created by the Transport Act 1962 to administer a range of state-owned transport, travel and engineering companies that were previously managed by the British Transport Commission (BTC). It came into existence on 1 September 1962, [lower-roman 3] with certain assets of the BTC vested in it on 1 January 1963. [lower-roman 2]



The THC's assets were very varied, reflecting its role as the manager of those investments that did not fit elsewhere in the post-1962 structure of nationalised transport. There were essentially six areas of activity:


With the coming into effect of the Transport Act 1968 on 1 January 1969, the THC's road transport and shipping interests passed to the National Bus Company, the National Freight Corporation and the Scottish Transport Group. Its remaining assets were privatised and the company dissolved in the early 1970s.

Subsidiary companies

Bus companies – England and Wales

The following companies passed to the THC in 1963:

The THC also had a shareholding in the following coach companies (the remaining shares were owned by British Electric Traction):

In October 1967 the THC purchased one of the largest remaining independent bus operators:

In March 1968, as the Transport Act 1968 was passing through parliament, British Electric Traction decided to sell its bus operations to the THC:

THC already had a minority shareholding in many of the BET companies through shares purchased by the mainline railway companies in 1929–1930, which had passed to the state on the nationalisation of British Railways. The acquisition of the BET companies led to the THC gaining 100% of Black and White, County Motors, Samuelson's and Timpson's

Bus companies – Scotland

The Scottish companies were known as the Scottish Bus Group:



  1. The Transport Holding Company was a "body corporate with perpetual succession" created by section 29 of the Transport Act 1962 (i.e. a statute). [1]
  2. 1 2 Section 31 of the Transport Act 1962 vested the securities (i.e. shares) belonging to the British Transport Commission specified in Part IV of Schedule 4 to that Act, and the property, rights, and liabilities belonging to or subsisting against the British Transport Commission specified in Schedule 5 to that Act in the Transport Holding Company on the "vesting date", [2] which was defined as 1 January 1963 by paragraph 1 of the Transport Act 1962 (Vesting Date) Order 1962. [3]
  3. 1 2 The Transport Holding Company was created by section 29 of the Transport Act 1962, [1] which came into force on 1 September 1962 per paragraph 1 of The Transport Act 1962 (Commencement No. 1) Order 1962. [4]
  4. The Transport Holding Company was dissolved by the Transport Holding Company (Dissolution) Order 1973, [5] a statutory instrument made by the Secretary of State for the Environment under both section 53(3) of the Transport Act 1968 (as amended by section 1(3) of the Transport Holding Company Act 1972) and under sections 1(6) and 2(6) of the Transport Holding Company Act 1972. [6]
  5. On 30 March 1973 (the day before the Transport Holding Company was dissolved), "all the property, rights and liabilities belonging to or subsisting against the Transport Holding Company" were transferred to the National Freight Corporation by paragraph 2(1) of The Transport Holding Company (Dissolution) Order 1973. [7]

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  1. 1 2 Transport Act 1962, section 29 (as originally enacted). Available from Accessed 3 November 2022.
  2. Transport Act 1962, section 31 (as originally enacted). Available from Accessed 3 November 2022.
  3. The Transport Act 1962 (Vesting Date) Order 1962, paragraph 1. Available from Accessed 3 November 2022.
  4. The Transport Act 1962 (Commencement No. 1) Order 1962, paragraph 1. Available from Accessed 3 November 2022.
  5. 1 2 The Transport Holding Company (Dissolution) Order 1973, paragraph 3(1). Available from Accessed 3 November 2022.
  6. The Transport Holding Company (Dissolution) Order 1973, preamble. Available from Accessed 3 November 2022.
  7. The Transport Holding Company (Dissolution) Order 1973, paragraph 2(1). Available from Accessed 3 November 2022.