Arriva Southern Counties

Bus operator in Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent and Essex

Arriva Southern Counties
MX61AXK Forstal Road Aylesford. Service 155 Maidstone to Chatham.jpg
Arriva double-decker bus in Aylesford, 2022
ParentArriva UK Bus
FoundedNovember 1986 (1986-11)
HeadquartersMaidstone
Service areaEast Sussex
Essex
Harlow
Hemel Hempstead
Kent
Surrey
West Sussex
Watford
Ware
Service typeBus services
HubsChatham, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells
Depots11
OperatorArriva Guildford & West Surrey
Arriva Kent & Sussex
Arriva Kent Thameside
Arriva Medway Towns
Arriva Southend
Arriva Colchester
Websitewww.arrivabus.co.uk

Arriva Southern Counties[1] is a bus operator in Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent, Essex, Hemel Hempstead, and Watford in England. It is a subsidiary of Arriva UK Bus.

History

New Enterprise Coaches Scania K113CRB coach

In November 1986, the National Bus Company sold Maidstone & District in a management buyout to Einkorn Limited.[1] In June 1988, New Enterprise Coaches of Tonbridge was purchased, followed in December 1991 by four buses and their associated Kent County Council services from Shearings,[2] and in June 1992 Boro'line Maidstone.[3][4][5]

In 1990, British Bus purchased the Cranleigh, Guildford and Woking based operations of Alder Valley followed in 1993 by Colchester Borough Transport and Southend Transport.[5]

In April 1995, Einkorn was sold to British Bus,[6] which had purchased Kentish Bus in July 1994 and Londonlinks in 1988. In August 1995, Einkorn was renamed Invictaway.[1] Invictaway was previously the name of the Maidstone & District commuter services to London, which were renamed Green Line at the same time.[5]

In July 1996, British Bus was taken over by the Cowie Group.[7][8] Invictaway was renamed Arriva Southern Counties in April 1998,[1] and Arriva transferred London & Country (also owned by British Bus) to it. The subsidiary operating companies therefore became:

  • Maidstone & District:
    • Mainly became Arriva Kent & Sussex
    • Medway area became Arriva Medway Towns
  • Kentish Bus:
    • Mainly became Arriva Kent Thameside
    • Partly became Arriva Kent & Sussex
  • London & Country:
    • Became Arriva Guildford & West Surrey
  • LondonLinks:
    • Became Arriva Croydon & North Surrey

Current operations in the South East area are:

Many reorganisations of Arriva operations in South East England have followed since and today the company also controls Arriva Guildford & West Surrey, Arriva West Sussex, and Arriva Southend. The Croydon & North Surrey subsidiary was largely transferred to Arriva London.

In 2001, the Crawley depot and operations were sold to Metrobus and the depot in Merstham was closed.[14]

In August 2004, Arriva Colchester was sold to Tellings-Golden Miller, although with the December 2007, sale of Tellings-Golden Miller, Colchester is once again owned by Arriva, albeit not under the control of Arriva Southern Counties.[15][16] In October 2009, the Horsham depot and routes were sold to Metrobus with 19 buses.[17]

In March 2015, Network Colchester and Network Harlow operations were taken over from Tellings-Golden Miller, who at the time was an Arriva subsidiary. Both operation companies were rebranded Arriva Colchester and Arriva Harlow respectively.

The Medway Towns network was upgraded in a £10 million investment marketed as Operation Overdrive.

In April 2021, Arriva announced the Sheerness depot would close in July 2021, with routes 360, 361 and 367 being withdrawn and re-tendered by Kent County Council.[18] All three routes transferred to Chalkwell Coaches on Monday 12 July 2021.[19][20]

In October 2021, Arriva announced that routes 306 and 308 from Northfleet depot would be withdrawn. These services were taken over by Redroute Buses on 1 November 2021.[21]

In October 2021, Arriva announced it was planning to close the Guildford depot and cease operations in Surrey from 18 December 2021.[22] From that date, 6 routes will be taken over by Stagecoach South, with routes 36/37 being replaced by a new route 6 and an extension to the existing Route 1.[23] Route A was withdrawn without replacement from 14 November 2021.[24] The depot was leased to Stagecoach South.[25]

Services

Park & Ride

Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMC in Maidstone Park & Ride livery, 2020

Until February 2022, Arriva Southern Counties operated the Maidstone park & ride under contract to Maidstone Borough Council.[26] The service linked Maidstone Town Centre with two park & ride sites, one on London Road and one on Willington Street.[27] The service was withdrawn in February 2022 due to reduced passenger numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[28]

Arriva Sapphire

Arriva Southern Counties currently operate four Sapphire routes in Kent and Hemel Hempstead on the following services:[29]

Route Start End Vehicles
101[30] Gillingham Maidstone Alexander Dennis Enviro400
700[29] Chatham Bluewater Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC
480/490[31] Dartford Valley Drive Wright Streetlite

Fastrack

Fastrack liveried Wright Streetlite at Bluewater, 2015

Arriva Southern Counties are one of the companies who operate the Fastrack busway scheme in the Thames Gateway area of Kent on behalf of Kent County Council and Prologis.

Arriva Southern Counties currently operate two of the three Fastrack services:[32]

Since November 2007, Route B has connected with the Eurostar at Ebbsfleet International railway station, and Eurostar passengers are permitted free travel on the service.

On 11 February 2008, Arriva began trialling their mobile "m-ticket" system on the Fastrack Network before rolling the system out on all Southern Counties services.[33]

Depots

Northern Counties bodied Volvo Citybus in the schoolbus livery in Cliffe, 2009

Current Depots

The locations of Arriva Southern Counties' depots and the divisions which operate them are:

Depot Division
Colchester Arriva Colchester
Gillingham[34] Arriva Medway Towns
Hemel Hempstead Arriva Kent Thameside
Harlow Arriva Kent Thameside
Maidstone[35] Arriva Kent & Sussex
Northfleet[36] Arriva Kent Thameside
Tunbridge Wells[35] Arriva Kent & Sussex
Southend[37] Arriva Southend
Stevenage Arriva Kent Thameside
Ware Arriva Kent Thameside

Former Depots

Former depots of Arriva Southern Counties were:

Depot Division Fate
Cranleigh Arriva Guildford & West Surrey Closed during 2011
Crawley Arriva Kent & Sussex Transferred to Metrobus on 30 March 2001[38]
Dartford Arriva Kent Thameside[36] Transferred to Arriva London in January 2016[39][40]
Gatwick easyBus (New Enterprise Coaches) Closed on 5 December 2009
Guildford Arriva Guildford & West Surrey Closed on 17 December 2021, leased to Stagecoach South[25][41]
Grays Arriva Southend Transferred to Arriva London in January 2016[39][40]
Hawkhurst Arriva Kent & Sussex Closed on 17 February 2008
Horsham Arriva Guildford & West Surrey Closed on 2 October 2009 when operations were transferred to Metrobus[17]
Sittingbourne Arriva Medway Towns Closed on 2 July 2006
Sheerness Arriva Medway Towns Closed on 11 July 2021[42][43]
Tenterden Arriva Kent & Sussex Closed on 9 May 2009, following loss of contracts for operated services

Dartford and Grays garages were the only Arriva Southern Counties depots which did not have commercial services and only handled services operated under contract to Transport for London with all buses painted in red Arriva livery.

Commercial routes previously operated from Dartford depot before it became an all Transport for London depot were transferred to Northfleet. Grays depot switched to all Transport for London services after Arriva Southend withdrew both commercial routes 373 and 383 in the Grays area, partially replacing them by extending route 5 from Southend-on-Sea. Routes 44 and 150, the remaining services in the Grays area, are operated under contract to Thurrock Council. The buses used for these routes were transferred to Southend.

As at September 2014, Dartford garage operated London routes 160, 428, 492, B12, B13 and B15.[44] Grays garage operated London routes 66, 346, 370, 375 and 499.[45]

As part of a decision to consolidate all of Arriva's Transport for London routes, Dartford and Grays garages transferred to Arriva London on 1 January 2016.[39][40]

Fleet

As at December 2013 the fleet consisted of 900 buses and coaches.[citation needed] As at September 2014, 113 buses were dedicated to the Transport for London services.[46]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Companies House extract company no 2031405 Archived 3 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine Arriva Southern Counties Limited formerly Invictaway Limited formerly Einkorn Limited
  2. ^ Shearings bus sale continues Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Commercial Motor 3 January 1992
  3. ^ The supply of bus services in Mid and West Kent Archived 4 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine Monopolies & Mergers Commission August 1993
  4. ^ Maidstone & District Motor Services Archived 7 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine M Dek Bus Club
  5. ^ a b c History - South East Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine Arriva
  6. ^ Competition Commission report (1997) Archived 19 January 2012 at the UK Government Web Archive Competition Commission
  7. ^ Cowie Group plc and British Bus Group Limited: A report on the merger situation Competition Commission 31 October 1996
  8. ^ Midland Red History: Timeline Menu Archived 3 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine MidlandRed.net
  9. ^ Companies House extract company no 2536462 Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Arriva Guildford & West Surrey Limited formerly Guildford & West Surrey Buses Limited
  10. ^ Companies House extract company no 114841 Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Arriva Kent & Surrey Limited formerly Arriva Kent & Sussex Limited formerly The Maidstone & District Motor Services Limited
  11. ^ Companies House extract company no 2005266 Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Arriva Kent Thameside Limited formerly Kentish Bus & Coach Limited formerly London Country Bus (South East) Limited
  12. ^ Companies House extract company no 3943257 Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Arriva Medway Towns Limited
  13. ^ Companies House extract company no 1992873 Archived 13 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine Arriva Southend Limited formerly Southend Transport Limited
  14. ^ 2017 Arriva Bus Handbook. British Bus Publishing Ltd. 2017. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-912063-07-9.
  15. ^ Arriva to acquire Tellings Archived 18 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 20 December 2007
  16. ^ Arriva plc offer for TGM Group plc Archived 16 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine Arriva 20 December 2007
  17. ^ a b Go-Ahead to acquire Arriva's Horsham Bus Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine Bus & Coach Professional 3 September 2009
  18. ^ "Arriva set to axe island services". Kent Online. 21 April 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2021.
  19. ^ Jackson, Peter (5 May 2021). "Chalkwell saves Sheerness services". CBW. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Chalkwell to Take Over 367 Bus Service". Chalkwell Coaches. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  21. ^ "Bluewater bus service saved after Arriva drops route". Kent Online. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  22. ^ Houston, Niamh; Updated (6 October 2021). "Arriva planning to close Guildford bus depot". SurreyLive. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Forthcoming bus timetable changes - Surrey County Council". 28 April 2021. Archived from the original on 28 April 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  24. ^ "Arriva planning to close Guildford bus depot as operation is 'no longer sustainable'". SurreyLive. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  25. ^ a b Surprise tenant for Arriva's Guildford depot Buses issue 806 May 2022 page 14
  26. ^ Maidstone Quality Bus Partnership Archived 9 September 2013 at archive.today Kent County Council
  27. ^ "Maidstone Park & Ride". Arriva Southern Counties. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  28. ^ "Maidstone to lose Park and Ride service, says council". Downs Mail. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Arriva Sapphire services". Arriva Southern Counties. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  30. ^ Peat, Chris (10 September 2014). "Arriva launches premium Sapphire service on 101". Bus&Coachbuyer. Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  31. ^ Matthews, Alex (3 October 2014). "Arriva invest more than £2 million on 490 and 480 buses running in Gravesend and Dartford". KentOnline. Archived from the original on 10 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  32. ^ "Fastrack Network Map". Arriva Southern Counties. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  33. ^ "Arriva Mobile ticketing: m-tickets". Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  34. ^ Operator summary for licence PK0003562 Archived 10 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine Vehicles & Operator Services Agency
  35. ^ a b Operator summary for licence PK0000208 Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Vehicles & Operator Services Agency
  36. ^ a b Operator summary for licence PK0001285 Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Vehicles & Operator Services Agency
  37. ^ Operator summary for licence PF0000093 Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine Vehicles & Operator Services Agency
  38. ^ "Go-Ahead Group PLC | Acquisition of Crawley Depot | InvestEgate". www.investegate.co.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  39. ^ a b c Arriva London adds four more garages Arriva London
  40. ^ a b c "Arriva London" Buses Magazine Issue 731 February 2016 page 66
  41. ^ "Arriva planning to close Guildford bus depot as operation is no longer sustainable". SurreyLive. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  42. ^ Roland (21 May 2021). "Chalkwell to Take Over 367 Bus Service". Chalkwell Coach Hire. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  43. ^ Jackson, Peter (5 May 2021). "Chalkwell saves Sheerness services". CBW. Retrieved 9 October 2021.
  44. ^ Carr, Ken (September 2014). The London Bus Guide (4 ed.). Boreham: Visions International Entertainment. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-9570058-6-0.
  45. ^ Carr, Ken (September 2014). The London Bus Guide (4 ed.). Boreham: Visions International Entertainment. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-9570058-6-0.
  46. ^ Carr, Ken (September 2014). The London Bus Guide (4 ed.). Boreham: Visions International Entertainment. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-9570058-6-0.

External links

Media related to Arriva Southern Counties at Wikimedia Commons

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