Startacus Join Now! /
View Our Toolkit

The Man Who Started a Bus Company

Startacus RSS

by Startacus Admin

You may have heard the term ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit’ being flung about the place and wondered to yourself… what's that? Does it actually exist? Or is it just a buzzword the folks on the apprentice use to romanticise the harsh and often brutal mechanics of big business? 

If you are looking for a demonstration of true entrepreneurial spirit, Northumberland is the place to be right now. The county is home to a gentleman bus driver named Steve Hurst, who, frustrated with the lack of public transport services within his local community, set up his own bus Spiritbusescompany to serve the needs of the community; the aptly named Spirit Buses.

The problem was chronic in the valley where Steve grew up. Rural public transport is a notoriously difficult and enormously expensive endeavour and so is usually one of the first things to be trimmed back during lean times. In the end a whole string of local villages and hamlets including Snitter, Alwinton, and Harbottle, were left effectively cut off by the reduction of services, finding themselves completely removed from bus routes.

For those lucky enough to still be catered for, things were hardly much better. The service between the market towns of Rothbury and Alnwick, though just 12 miles apart, would take a ridiculous 2 ½ hours, including a change at Morpeth - that works out at an average speed of just 5 miles per hour.
The Places with Transport thanks to Spirit Buses

The big bus companies had zero interest in improving the services of these rural areas, so Steve, weary and frustrated with the shameful services available, decide to take matters into his own hands. Undeterred by the huge logistical and financial challenges that lay in his path, Steve began to hatch a plan that would see a lifelong ambition of running a business matched with his love of, and concern for, his local community.Spirit Buses in Action

“It was never going to make me millions. I just wanted to revive the valley and connect all these communities up again.”

He managed to scrape together £60,000 pounds from personal savings and bank loans and as of September 2014, Steve’s small time rural transport enterprise was up and running! Spirit Busses now have 2 vehicles on the road, linking the villages of the valley together once more, and cutting the travel time on the notorious route between Rothbury and Alnwick to a much more proportionate 20 minutes.

What's more, in an unexpected but welcomed accolade, one of Steve’s new bus routes that connects Rothbury with Alwinton and all the villages in between, has recently been named as one of the most scenic bus routes in the country… how’s that for poetry?! Hope for Transport in Northumberland

But Steve’s ambitions don’t stop there. Alongside the bus service he has incorporated an informal delivery service that has so far handled some unusual cargo including dogs, cats, bikes and Christmas trees. Come summer time he hopes to be offering guided bus tours of some of the local historical attractions.

Northumberland County Council Steven Bridgett summed it up rather well

“I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying this but I’ll say it anyway: one of the things you tend to get with the bigger bus companies is that as they grow, they forget the little people. Steve provides a tailor-made, personal service. I don’t just salute his entrepreneurial spirit but also his social spirit. It’s not just a business venture for him, but a social service for the Coquetdale valley.”

Well done Steve, you show ‘em how it’s done!

Startacus RSS
Business DealsSubmit Your Startup
Win TicketsNetwork and Collaborate
Our Latest Features

Published on: 14th January 2015

If you would like to enable commenting via your Startacus account, please enable Disqus functionality in your Account Settings.

Create an Idea!View Other Ideas, Projects or Startups
Drive with Belron Why not Sign Up?
Create Projects
Edit Projects
Self Interviews
Self Starter of the Year
Product Giveaways
Subscribe to our Newsletter
  • Top Startup Events UK and Ireland 2017 20th Jan 2017 In honoured tradition we return with our roundup and list of the top UK and Ireland Startup Events and Conferences for 2017.
  • AIB Start-up Academy Summit returns to Belfast! 13th Jan 2017 Northern Ireland startups and entrepreneurs listen up! The AIB Start-up Academy Summit will be back in Belfast and we’ve all the important info you need to bag your free ticket to attend!
  • Newcastle Startup Week Set to Inspire 11th Jan 2017 Newcastle Startup Week - a new festival of entrepreneurship aims to inspire local people to start businesses and attract greater inward investment to the city and wider North East of England region.
  • Drive with Belron Accelerator seeks disruptive Startups 7th Jan 2017 The world’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement service provider Belron is back on the hunt for innovative startups to joins its ten week accelerator Drive.
Check us out at our Google+ page!