Arriva Southern Counties

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Arriva Southern Counties
MX61AXK Forstal Road Aylesford. Service 155 Maidstone to Chatham.jpg
Parent Arriva UK Bus
FoundedNovember 1986 (1986-11)
Headquarters Maidstone
Service area East Sussex
Essex
Harlow
Hemel Hempstead
Kent
Surrey
West Sussex
Watford
Ware
Service typeBus services
HubsChatham, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells
Depots11
Operator Arriva Guildford & West Surrey
Arriva Kent & Sussex
Arriva Kent Thameside
Arriva Medway Towns
Arriva Southend
Arriva Colchester
Website www.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.

Contents

History

Northern Counties bodied Volvo Olympian in Royal Tunbridge Wells in April 2009 Arriva Kent & Sussex 5928.JPG
Northern Counties bodied Volvo Olympian in Royal Tunbridge Wells in April 2009
New Enterprise Coaches Scania K113CRB coach New Enterprise Coach M54 AWW.jpg
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:

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

Local and Interurban Services

Arriva Kent & Sussex Volvo B7TL Wright Eclipse Gemini on route 7 in Hadlow LJ51DHE Hadlow Village. This bus is 21 years old! This bus is still in service.jpg
Arriva Kent & Sussex Volvo B7TL Wright Eclipse Gemini on route 7 in Hadlow

Arriva Southern Counties operate a mixture of local and interurban services across Kent and Essex, although operations in Colchester and Southend-on-Sea are localised to each town.

In Southend, Arriva Southern Counties operate a local network of services covering Rayleigh, Hadleigh, Rochford and Shoeburyness and in Colchester, they operate a number of local services around the town. [26]

In Kent, operations from the company's depots in Northfleet, Gillingham, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells combine to create a network across the northern and western areas of the county. Services are centred in the towns of Dartford, Gravesend, Chatham, Maidstone, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells and also extend to Tenterden, Hawkhurst, Sevenoaks, Orpington, Sittingbourne and Sheerness-on-Sea. [27]

The company also operates a small number of branded interurban services.

Sapphire routes 480/490

Wright Streetlite on Sapphire 490 at Bluewater Bus Station Arriva Kent Thameside 4266 on Route 490, Bluewater Shopping Centre (15997539816).jpg
Wright Streetlite on Sapphire 490 at Bluewater Bus Station

Arriva Southern Counties currently operate Sapphire branded buses in Kent Thameside on routes 480 and 490 which link Dartford and Bluewater with Greenhithe, Swanscombe, Northfleet, Gravesend and Valley Drive. [28] These services are operated using a fleet of Wright Streetlite buses fitted with free WiFi, e-leather seats and USB charging ports. [29]

Sapphire branded buses were also previously used on routes 101 and 700 in the Medway Towns but has since been discontinued on these services.[ citation needed ]

Southend route 9

Arriva Southern Counties operate branded buses on route 9 in Southend which operates between Rayleigh and Shoeburyness. The Optare Versa buses that operate this service are branded as "We're heading to the beach". [30]

Park & Ride

Colchester

Arriva Southern Counties currently operate the Colchester park & ride service under contract to Essex County Council. The service operates in a loop between the Park & Ride site next to the A12, Colchester City Centre and Colchester Station. [31]

Maidstone

Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMC in Maidstone Park & Ride livery, 2020 Maidstone Park & Ride (50324618772).jpg
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. [32] The service linked Maidstone Town Centre with two park & ride sites, one on London Road and one on Willington Street. [33] The service was withdrawn in February 2022 due to reduced passenger numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. [34]

Fastrack

Fastrack liveried Wright Streetlite at Bluewater, 2015 Arriva Southern Counties 4306 on Fastrack A, Bluewater (20894624865).jpg
Fastrack liveried Wright Streetlite at Bluewater, 2015

Arriva Southern Counties operate the Fastrack busway scheme in the Thames Gateway area of Kent on behalf of Kent County Council, Prologis and Amazon.

Arriva Southern Counties currently operate the following three Fastrack services: [35]

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. [36]

Depots

Alexander ALX400 bodiedc Volvo B7TL in Tunbridge Wells, 2009 Arriva Kent & Sussex 6445.JPG
Alexander ALX400 bodiedc Volvo B7TL in Tunbridge Wells, 2009
Northern Counties bodied Volvo Citybus in the schoolbus livery in Cliffe, 2009 7625 - G625 BPH Arriva service 133 at Cliffe Church, Kent.(crop).jpg
Northern Counties bodied Volvo Citybus in the schoolbus livery in Cliffe, 2009
Transport for London liveried Alexander Dennis Enviro200 in Dorking, 2009 Arriva Guildford & West Surrey 3981 GN07 AUY 2.JPG
Transport for London liveried Alexander Dennis Enviro200 in Dorking, 2009

Current Depots

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

DepotDivision
Colchester Arriva Colchester
Gillingham [37] Arriva Medway Towns
Maidstone [38] Arriva Kent & Sussex
Northfleet [39] Arriva Kent Thameside
Tunbridge Wells [38] Arriva Kent & Sussex
Southend [40] Arriva Southend

Former Depots

Former depots of Arriva Southern Counties were:

DepotDivisionFate
Cranleigh Arriva Guildford & West Surrey Closed during 2011
Crawley Arriva Kent & SussexTransferred to Metrobus on 30 March 2001 [41]
Dartford Arriva Kent Thameside [39] Transferred to Arriva London in January 2016 [42] [43]
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] [44]
Grays Arriva SouthendTransferred to Arriva London in January 2016 [42] [43]
Hawkhurst Arriva Kent & SussexClosed on 17 February 2008
Horsham Arriva Guildford & West Surrey Closed on 2 October 2009 when operations were transferred to Metrobus [17]
Sittingbourne Arriva Medway TownsClosed on 2 July 2006
Sheerness Arriva Medway TownsClosed on 11 July 2021 [45] [46]
Tenterden Arriva Kent & SussexClosed 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. [47] Grays garage operated London routes 66, 346, 370, 375 and 499. [48]

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. [42] [43]

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. [49]

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Arriva Shires & Essex</span> Subsidiary bus operator of Arriva UK Bus

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fastrack (bus)</span>

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References

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