|Parent||Arriva UK Bus|
|Service area|| East Sussex |
|Service type||Bus services|
|Hubs||Chatham, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells|
|Operator|| Arriva Guildford & West Surrey |
Arriva Kent & Sussex
Arriva Kent Thameside
Arriva Medway Towns
Arriva Southern Countiesis 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.
In November 1986, the National Bus Company sold Maidstone & District in a management buyout to Einkorn Limited.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, and in June 1992 Boro'line Maidstone.
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.
In April 1995, Einkorn was sold to British Bus,which had purchased Kentish Bus in July 1994 and Londonlinks in 1988. In August 1995, Einkorn was renamed Invictaway. Invictaway was previously the name of the Maidstone & District commuter services to London, which were renamed Green Line at the same time.
In July 1996, British Bus was taken over by the Cowie Group.Invictaway was renamed Arriva Southern Counties in April 1998, 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.
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.In October 2009, the Horsham depot and routes were sold to Metrobus with 19 buses.
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.All three routes transferred to Chalkwell Coaches on Monday 12 July 2021.
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.
In October 2021, Arriva announced it was planning to close the Guildford depot and cease operations in Surrey from 18 December 2021.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. Route A was withdrawn without replacement from 14 November 2021. The depot was leased to Stagecoach South.
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.
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.
The company also operates a small number of branded interurban services.
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.These services are operated using a fleet of Wright Streetlite buses fitted with free WiFi, e-leather seats and USB charging ports.
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 ]
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".
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.
Until February 2022, Arriva Southern Counties operated the Maidstone park & ride under contract to Maidstone Borough Council.The service linked Maidstone Town Centre with two park & ride sites, one on London Road and one on Willington Street. The service was withdrawn in February 2022 due to reduced passenger numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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:
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.
The locations of Arriva Southern Counties' depots and the divisions which operate them are:
|Gillingham||Arriva Medway Towns|
|Maidstone||Arriva Kent & Sussex|
|Northfleet||Arriva Kent Thameside|
|Tunbridge Wells||Arriva Kent & Sussex|
Former depots of Arriva Southern Counties were:
|Cranleigh||Arriva Guildford & West Surrey||Closed during 2011|
|Crawley||Arriva Kent & Sussex||Transferred to Metrobus on 30 March 2001|
|Dartford||Arriva Kent Thameside||Transferred to Arriva London in January 2016|
|Gatwick||easyBus (New Enterprise Coaches)||Closed on 5 December 2009|
|Guildford||Arriva Guildford & West Surrey||Closed on 17 December 2021, leased to Stagecoach South|
|Grays||Arriva Southend||Transferred to Arriva London in January 2016|
|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|
|Sittingbourne||Arriva Medway Towns||Closed on 2 July 2006|
|Sheerness||Arriva Medway Towns||Closed on 11 July 2021|
|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.Grays garage operated London routes 66, 346, 370, 375 and 499.
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.
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.
Arriva London is a major bus company operating services in Greater London. It is a subsidiary of Arriva UK Bus and operates services under contract to Transport for London. It was formed in 1998 from a fusion of previously separate Arriva subsidiaries Grey-Green, Leaside Buses, Kentish Bus, London & Country and South London Transport. Operations are split between two registered companies, Arriva London North Limited and Arriva London South Limited.
Arriva Shires & Essex is a bus operator providing services in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire, with services extending to Oxfordshire and Greater London. Until 2002 its operations included Colchester. It is a subsidiary of Arriva UK Bus.
Tellings-Golden Miller is a charter coach operator in England. It was a subsidiary of Arriva twice previously, but once again has returned to family ownership. The company is now a subsidiary of Falcon Coaches based in Byfleet, Surrey.
Operation Overdrive is the name of a series of improvement programmes carried out by Arriva in their UK bus operations. The original Operation Overdrive was done by Arriva Southern Counties in the Medway Towns (Kent) in 2004, with further operations occurring in Maidstone (Kent), Merseyside, Leicestershire, County Durham, and Southend-on-Sea (Essex).
Arriva Kent Thameside is a bus operator based in North-West Kent, England. It is a subsidiary of Arriva. The company operates services in Northfleet, Gravesend & Dartford as part of the Arriva Southern Counties division from their Northfleet depot.
Stagecoach South is a bus operator providing services in South East England. It is a subsidiary of Stagecoach. It operates services in Hampshire, Surrey, and Sussex with some routes extending into Brighton and Wiltshire. It operates 487 buses from eight depots.
Maidstone & District Motor Services was a bus company based in Maidstone, Kent. The company operated bus and coach services in Mid and West Kent and East Sussex from 1911 until 1998. The company's surviving operations were absorbed into Arriva Southern Counties.
Countryliner was a bus and coach operator, based in Uckfield, England. It ran over fifty bus services, mainly operating in Sussex and Kent with some operations into Hampshire. On 8 October 2012, it was placed in administration. It continued other services under a different licence trading as SwiftBus, this ceased trading on 18 January 2013.
London Country South West (LCSW) was a bus operator in South East England and London. It was formed from the split of London Country Bus Services in 1986 and operated a fleet of around 415 buses from 10 garages, with its headquarters in Reigate.
Arriva Guildford & West Surrey was a bus operator based in Guildford, England. It was a subsidiary of Arriva. The company operated services in West Sussex and Surrey, as part of the Arriva Southern Counties division. Services that were run were primarily centred on hubs at Guildford, Woking and Cranleigh.
Fastrack is a bus rapid transit scheme in the Thames Gateway area of Kent. It consists of three routes, operated by Arriva Southern Counties on behalf of Kent County Council with Prologis and Amazon respectively. Measures used to allow buses to avoid traffic include signal priority, reserved lanes, and dedicated busways.
Transportation needs within the county of Kent in South East England has been served by both historical and current transport systems.
Eastern National was a bus company operating in south-east England, primarily in Essex, from 1929 to the 1990s.
Safeguard Coaches is a bus and coach operator based in Guildford.
Invictaway was an express commuter coach service from Kent to London in the 1980s and 1990s, and was also a holding company for the emerging Arriva group. As a legal entity of the Maidstone & District bus company, after the cessation of the Invictaway coach services, the Invictaway company legal lettering persisted as a holding company for the Arriva subsidiaries in Kent, and some London operations. This company was based in the Armstrong Road M&D depot in Maidstone. This ceased in 1997 when the operations were reconstituted as Arriva London and Arriva Southern Counties.
London Country South East (LCSE) was a bus operator in South East England and London. It was formed from the split of London Country Bus Services in 1986 and operated a fleet of around 170 buses from four garages, with its headquarters located in Northfleet. It was rebranded as Kentish Bus in 1987 and used this name for most of its existence. Its former garages and operations now form part of Arriva Southern Counties and Arriva London.
Chalkwell Coaches is a bus and coach tour operator in Sittingbourne, Kent.
Go-Coachhire Ltd is a bus operator running a total of 40 bus services across Kent and Sussex. The majority of these services are operated on behalf of Kent County Council from their depot in Swanley.
Media related to Arriva Southern Counties at Wikimedia Commons