Holding on to what I am, pretending I’m a Supertram

A Totally Objective Ranking of British Public Transport System Logos

Robin Wilde
28 min readJan 25, 2022


This wasn’t the most original idea for what is rapidly snowballing into a regular feature, but sometimes the most straightforward concepts are the good ones.

Britain’s public transport is a glorious patchwork of different modes and providers, and as a result throws up a wide range of system logos from the straight-laced to the very out there. While I’m sure there’ll be some commentary along the way, we’re less fussed about routes and rolling stock than about the truly important thing — how cool is the logo?

Criteria for inclusion were a little bit less clear than council logos or university logos. Partly this is a challenge of trying to produce a list long enough to be interesting, and partly that if I was to go through every single bus route in the country I’d swiftly go mad and you’d swiftly get bored, since so many of them use almost identical branding.

Instead I’ve adopted a few fairly straightforward rules:

  • It must be for public transport — that is, a service available to ride from one location to another, on a pre-arranged route and/or schedule, for anyone who can pay the fare — so no taxis or ride sharing, or public scooter or bike hire schemes.
  • It must have a recognisable logo — this has ruled out a great many of the country’s wonderful community transport schemes, who are doing a laudable public good, but sadly including them would have meant rehashing a lot of my council logo comments. Sorry guys.
  • It must be there for functional transport, rather than novelty or leisure — so no cruise lines, theme park monorails, steam railways or bus tour companies. Of course, you can and should use public transport for leisure (I highly recommend the East Coast Main Line between Newcastle and Edinburgh) but that can’t be its only purpose.

An addendum to these rules also includes public transport governance bodies, for the official reason that they often have distinct logos and play a key role in the provision of transport, and also for the unofficial reason that I needed to get the numbers up.

My admittedly cursory searching yielded 79 candidates for the list, but public transport fans being who they are, I’m sure there’ll be some I…



Robin Wilde

Freelance writer and graphic designer. Once worked in politics.