Arriva Shires & Essex

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Arriva Shires & Essex
Arriva logo.svg
Arriva Shires & Essex bus 5447 (W447 XKX) 2000 Dennis Trident 2 Alexander ALX400, Hertford, 28 March 2011.jpg
Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 2 in Hertford on 28 March 2011
Parent Arriva
Founded 1998
Service area Bedfordshire
Buckinghamshire
Essex
Hertfordshire
Greater London
Service type Bus services
Routes 45

Arriva Shires & Essex is a bus operator providing services in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Greater London. Until 2002 its operations included Colchester. It is a subsidiary of Arriva.

Operations are split between two registered companies, Arriva East Herts & Essex Limited and Arriva The Shires Limited.

Arriva East Herts & Essex[edit]

Two Optare Solos at Epping tube station in September 2008

Arriva East Herts & Essex Limited[1] is based in Harlow, and operate two bus garages in Harlow (Fourth Avenue) and Ware (Marsh Lane).

Arriva East Herts & Essex emerged from London Country North East, one of the successor companies of London Country Bus Services. LCNE was broken in two. One of the successor companies, County Bus & Coach, with depots at Harlow, Hertford and Grays, was bought by its management in 1990. In 1994 County was sold to West Midlands Travel, itself bought by National Express in 1995. The Cowie Group bought County from National Express in 1996.[2] County Bus & Coach was renamed Arriva East Herts & Essex in April 1998.[1]

Cowie had also acquired Southend Transport and Colchester Borough Transport with its acquisition of the British Bus Group in 1996. Both companies became part of Arriva East Herts & Essex, but in 2002 were transferred to Arriva Southern Counties together with the former County depot at Grays.

Harlow[edit]

Harlow garage was opened by London Transport on 22 May 1963 to serve Harlow New Town and also to replace Epping garage. Harlow was allocated 25 AEC Regent III RTs, 16 Routemasters (to operate Green Line routes 718, 720 & 720A), seven RFs and two coach RFs. London Country North East and County Bus used the garage until The Cowie Group purchased County Bus in 1997.

This was previously an Arriva East Herts & Essex garage, but it is now part of the Tellings-Golden Miller subsidiary and buses are branded as Network Harlow.

Bus types in use

Ware[edit]

Ware garage replaced the Hertford depot in 1993. It runs part of route 724 along with Harlow garage. Operation of London bus route 327 was transferred from Ware to Arriva London's Enfield garage on 3 January 2009. Ware did briefly become an Arriva The Shires garage in late 2010, before transferring back to Arriva East Herts & Essex. On 4 September 2010, routes 250 and 251 transferred from Harlow to Ware.

Bus types in use

Arriva The Shires[edit]

Northern Counties Palatine 2 bodied Volvo Olympian on route 280 in Oxford in October 2008

Arriva The Shires Limited[3] is based in Luton and operates bus garages in Luton, Watford, High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Stevenage, Hitchin and Hemel Hempstead.

Arriva the Shires evolved from the purchase of the Luton, Aylesbury and Hitchin depots of United Counties by Luton & District Transport in a management buy-out in 1987.[4] Depots at Watford, High Wycombe, Hemel Hempstead, Amersham and Slough were acquired with London Country North West in 1990,[5] although Amersham has since closed and Slough was later sold to Bee Line.[6] LDT was bought in 1994 by British Bus Group, itself bought in 1996 by The Cowie Group. LDT's was renamed Arriva the Shires in April 1998.[3][7]

Aylesbury[edit]

Aylesbury depot was a depot of United Counties acquired by LDT in 1987.

Later in 1987, LDT also acquired the long-established Aylesbury independent company, Red Rover.[8]

Hemel Hempstead[edit]

Hemel Hempstead was a depot of London Country Bus Services (North West) (one of the companies into which London Country Bus Services was divided in 1986), acquired by Luton & District Transport in 1988.[7]

High Wycombe[edit]

Leyland Olympian on route 74 in High Wycombe in July 2009
Mercedes-Benz Citaro on route 300 in High Wycombe in July 2009

High Wycombe was another depot of London Country Bus Services (North West), acquired by LDT in 1988.

In 2000 Arriva also bought the High Wycombe depot of the Go-Ahead Group's Oxford Bus Company (which had bought it from the Bee Line in 1994).

In 2005, High Wycombe garage relocated to a new purpose built depot following the closure of the old bus station in the town, where the previous garage was. High Wycombe operate a number of services, including the town's Park and Ride system.

On 31 December 2011, route U9 passed to Abellio London.[9]

Bus types in use

Hitchin[edit]

Hitchin depot was a depot of United Counties acquired by LDT in 1987.

Hitchin services have been worked from Stevenage garage since January 2007 following the closure of the old former United Counties garage in Fishponds Road. Services around the Hitchin area have been reduced, and many are operated by other contractors including Centrebus.

Luton[edit]

Luton depot is purpose built and is located at 487 Dunstable Road. It replaced the previous depot at Castle Street. It also houses the Head Office for Arriva The Shires & Essex as well as the UK bus team.

Luton operates Green Line route 757 as well as local bus services, Luton also has an outstaion at Stansted Airport which operates the EB2 an easyBus contract.

Bus types at Luton include

Hitchin/Stevenage[edit]

Arriva the Shires Van Hool bodied DAF coach on 797 route in Hatfield in April 2010

The Hitchin depot was a depot of United Counties acquired by LDT in 1987.

Hitchin services have been worked from Stevenage garage since January 2007 following the closure of the old former United Counties garage in Fishponds Road. Services around the Hitchin area have been reduced, and many are operated by other contractors including Centrebus.

Arriva is the main operator in Stevenage. They operate most services in the town, along with Green Line route 797.

There are two depots at Stevenage; Babbage Road (ex Sovereign) and Norton Green Road.

When London Country Bus Services was broken up in 1986, the Stevenage depot passed to London Country North East, sold in 1988 to AJS Group who established the Sovereign brand. Most of the operation was sold in 1990 to Luton & District Transport, and therefore became part of Arriva in 1996. In 1996 Arriva took over several vehicles and routes from Sovereign, by then owned by the Blazefield Group, in exchange for the London Green Line route 797.[10] In 2004 Arriva acquired the last remaining Sovereign operation. Blazefield had already sold its London operations to Transdev and its St Albans depot and routes to Centrebus.

Increasing competition in Stevenage has seen Centrebus win Hertfordshire County Council contracts as well as expanding Uno bus running services around Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City and Stevenage as commercial and contracted routes.

Other operators have competed in Stevenage including Transit trading as London or Stansted Transit and Shephall Express but all competition has now ended with the exception of some services operated by Centrebus.

In January 2007, all Hitchin services were transferred to Stevenage depot and the old United Counties garage closed. This mirrored the London Country depot situation in 1959 when the overcrowded garage at Hitchin closed and was replaced by the now demolished Stevenage Garage, the last owners of this site was Luton & District who kept the travel shop open after the garage was replaced by the Norton Green depot.

Arriva the Shires Alexander Dennis Enviro300 on route 301 in Hatfield in April 2010

Stevenage services operated by Arriva have recently been rebranded as the "SB network" and renumbered accordingly.

Watford (GR)[edit]

Watford garage operates London bus routes 142, 258, 268, 288, 303, 305, 340, H2, H3, H18, H19, LSP route 8, and school routes 631 and 642.

History[edit]

Watford was a depot of London Country Bus Services (North West) (one of the companies into which London Country Bus Services was divided in 1986), acquired by Luton & District Transport in 1988.[7]

On 30 August 2014, route 640 passed to Metroline.[11]

Bus types in use[edit]

Watford garage also run local bus routes

  • 1 Garston to Town Centre
  • 2 Town Centre to South Oxhey
  • 10 Woodside to Holywell Estate
  • 321 Maple Cross to Luton Airport (Interworks with Route 320)
  • W30 Watford Junction to Business Parks

Milton Keynes[edit]

Optare Excel acquired with MK Metro in Bletchley in July 2010

In February 2006, the operations of MK Metro were purchased by Arriva for £5.6 million,[12] and operational control transferred to The Shires & Essex. The purchase was subsequently considered by the Office of Fair Trading for possible referral to the Competition Commission, but it decided not to.[13] Vehicles and publicity for the Milton Keynes operation continued to use the MK Metro name until April 2010, when they were rebranded as Arriva Milton Keynes (temporarily using the brand name MK Star). The change of name coincided with a number of controversial service changes.[14] Many services were improved in frequency as part of the rebranding but others were reduced or even eliminated,[15] and some journey times were increased.[16]

Waltham Abbey[edit]

Arriva The Shires previously operated 2 routes in the Waltham Abbey area:

  • 251, Upshire to Hammond Street
  • 250, Debden Broadway to Waltham Cross

The 250 remained in competition with the 255 route operated by Harlow-based Roadrunner buses. In earlier-2013, Arriva withdrew the 250[17] service to provide a stronger service on the 251 and to expand onto the 310 route from Waltham Cross to Ware. Many of the buses used on the 250 service can now be seen on the 251 service operating from Upshire to Hammond Street more frequently.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 2294927 Arriva East Herts & Essex Limited
  2. ^ Arriva Aylesbury website: The Arriva Story so far
  3. ^ a b Companies House extract company no 2116519 Arriva The Shires Limited
  4. ^ Competition Commission report (1998) para 3.30
  5. ^ Ampyx Web World - "London Country Bus Services"
  6. ^ BeeLine Company History easyweb.easynet.co.uk
  7. ^ a b c Competition Commission Report (2005) para 2.4
  8. ^ Buses Extra, February-March 1989
  9. ^ Bus tender results Route U9 Transport for London 8 April 2011
  10. ^ Competition Commission report (2005) para 2.7
  11. ^ "London Omnibus Traction Society". Lots.org.uk. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  12. ^ Arriva press release on MK Metro purchase arriva.co.uk - Retrieved 24 December 2007
  13. ^ OFT decision on purchase by Arriva oft.gov.uk - Retrieved 24 December 2007
  14. ^ Arriva Milton Keynes website
  15. ^ For example, the Two Mile Ash - Stony Stratford service
  16. ^ Milton Keynes Citizen - 15/4/2010 digital edition pagesuite-professional.co.uk, page 31
  17. ^ "250 search results". Arriva. 
  18. ^ "251 timetable". Arriva. Retrieved 25 April 2013. 

External links[edit]