London based transport group Go Ahead has expanded its UK bus business with the purchase of independent operator Thames Travel.

The Oxfordshire-based company, which was founded in 1998 with a fleet of four vehicles, has gone from strength to strength in recent years, expanding to its position as the third largest bus operator in Oxfordshire.

It employs around 75 staff and maintains a fleet of 34 vehicles with a network of services in South Oxfordshire and parts of West Berkshire, currently carrying around 1.25 million passengers per year. Annual turnover is in the region of £6m a year.

Commenting on the deal, David Brown, deputy chief executive, of Go Ahead said: “Thames Travel is a strong business with a proud tradition of providing high quality services to the local community. We are delighted that the company will be joining the Go Ahead family. With the resources of Go Ahead behind Thames Travel, the business will be in a stronger position to grow over the years ahead.”

In line with the group’s devolved business strategy, the company will continue to be run and managed locally.