|Founded||2 May 1997|
|Headquarters||Old Wolverton, Milton Keynes|
|Service area||Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire|
|Service type||Bus services|
|Destinations||Milton Keynes, Northampton, Bedford, Olney|
|Operator||Arriva Shires & Essex|
MK Metro was the main bus operator in Milton Keynes in the English county of Buckinghamshire. In February 2006, it was purchased by Arriva Shires & Essex. The sale of MK Metro to Arriva was subsequently considered by the Office of Fair Trading for possible referral to the Competition Commission, however it decided not to do so.
The "MK Metro" name first appeared on the streets of Milton Keynes in 1997 when Stagecoach Holdingc plc was ordered by the OFT to divest of its operations in Milton Keynes and Huntingdon. This followed an investigation in 1996 into their acquisition of Cambus Holdings Ltd which, according to the OFT, had led to an unacceptable monopoly of bus operations in Cambridgeshire, Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford and Mid Bedfordshire.
MK Metro Ltd was purchased on 2 May 1997 by bus entrepreneur Julian Peddle (formerly managing director of Stevensons of Uttoxeter), using a new company Premier Buses Ltd both to operate in Huntingdon (using the "Premier Buses" brand name) and also as a holding company with which to purchase MK Metro Ltd.
Julian decided to introduce "MK Metro" as a new brand name for the Milton Keynes operation, replacing "Milton Keynes Citybus" (the company Milton Keynes Citybus Ltd itself was retained by Stagecoach) and "Road Car" (MK Metro Ltd had until 1995 been known as Buckinghamshire Road Car Ltd) which were both carried by buses at the time. The new name also introduced the bright yellow and blue livery which was in use until Arriva rebranded the buses in 2010.
In late 2007, a new MK Metro logo was introduced following the introduction of Wright Cadets.
On 25 April 2010 the company fully rebranded as "Arriva". Milton Keynes services began to operate under the sub brand of MK Star, and the change of name coincided with a number of controversial service changes.
The fleet ranged from mainly Dennis Darts (high floor and low floor, with a variety of bodywork), to Mercedes minibuses and Optare Solos. They also had double-deck Optare Spectras, and Scania L94s with Wright Solar bodywork. Two new Solars arrived in 2006. Three further Solos arrived in 2008, two in Arriva colours and one in a green colour, as well as a new double-decker and two taxis. In October 2008, a Dennis Trident 2/Alexander ALX400 arrived painted orange. It was previously with another part of Arriva Shires & Essex and was repaired from major fire damage. In November 2008, the same bus was once again involved in a fire, which this time completely destroyed it.
- Dennis Dart
- Dennis Dart SLF
- VDL SB120
- Mercedes-Benz Vario
- Optare Solo
- Optare Spectra
- Scania L94
- Alexander Dennis Enviro300
- Mercedes-Benz Citaro
The company ran over 30 services. Most routes passed through or served Central Milton Keynes. However, routes 16 and 30/31 did not. The routes were generally numbered from 1 to 30, although there were some omissions and some routes in the 30s, as well as a new service numbered 300.
The key services were numbered 1 to 8, and ran every 10 to 20 minutes. Key services ran through the busiest parts of the city, for example to Bletchley and the District centres. Intermediate services ran from every 20 minutes up to every hour. These routes cover areas in more detail, for example serving through the grid squares, while key services mostly ran on the main roads. The other routes ran at a frequency of every hour or less. These services linked locations outside Milton Keynes into the city, or linked neighbourhoods into the nearest centre.
Note that this list of routes is for historical interest. It is not a list of the current routes operated by Arriva Shires and Essex.
Former key services
- 1 / B / C: City Centre – Green Park – Newport Pagnell – Olney – Bedford / Northampton
- 2: Westcroft – Oxley Park – Grange Farm – City Centre – Willen – Poets Estate – Newport Pagnell
- 4 / A / E: Wolverton – Stony Stratford – City Centre – Hospital – Whaddon Way – Bletchley
- 5 / E: Wolverton – Bradville – City Centre – Hospital – Bletchley – Lakes Estate
- 7 / E: Wolverton – Stantonbury – City Centre – Bletchley – Newton Longville / Lakes Estate
- 7 A: Wolverton – Great Linford – Neath Hill – City Centre
- 8: Westcroft – Shenley Brook End – City Centre – Kingston – Bletchley / Woburn Sands
These routes were operated by MK Metro after its take-over by Arriva, but before the rebranding and new timetable launch on 24 April 2010.
- 2E: Wolverton – Heelands – City Centre – Willen – Poets Estate – Newport Pagnell
- 3E: Wolverton – Great Linford – City Centre – Shenley Church End – Furzton – Westcroft
- 6 / A: Wolverton / Bradville – Heelands – City Centre – Hospital- Emerson Valley – Bletchley
- 9 / A: City Centre – Shenley Lodge – Furzton – West Bletchley – Bletchley
- 12: Wolverton – Greenleys – Bradwell – City Centre – Kents Hill – Open University – Caldecotte
- 20: Bletchley – Tattenhoe – Westcroft – City Centre – Hospital – Walnut Tree
- 26E: Bletchley – Furzton – City Centre – Walnut Tree – Kingston Centre
- 29: Bletchley – Hospital – Oldbrook – City Centre – Crownhill – Shenley Church End
- 32: City Centre – Buckingham – Little Tingewick (peak hours)
- 39: Bletchley – Whaddon Way – Oldbrook – City Centre – Crownhill – Shenley Church End
- 300: City Centre – Broughton Gate – Kingston / Magna Park
Other former services
- 11: Milton Keynes – Monkston – Kingston – Woburn Sands – Bow Brickhill – Bletchley
- 13: Stony Stratford – Stantonbury – City Centre – Bletchley – Lakes Estate
- 14: City Centre – Stony Stratford – Old Stratford – Deanshanger / Wicken
- 16: Bletchley – West Bletchley – Emerson Valley – Westcroft
- 17A: Milton Keynes – Moulsoe – Cranfield
- 17B: City Centre – Great Linford – Newport Pagnell – Cranfield
- 18: City Centre – Woolstone – Woughton Park – Simpson – Bletchley
- 30 / 31: Newport Pagnell – Wolverton – Stony Stratford – Bletchley
- 32A: Buckingham Town Service
- 33: Milton Keynes – Blue Bridge – Wolverton – Hanslope – Roade – Northampton
- (NN)11 Northampton – Kingsley – Parklands – Links View – Kingsley – Northampton (only serves Links View on return from Parklands)
- (NN)21 Northampton – University Avenue Campus – Kingsthorpe – University Park Campus (ceased due to contract loss)
- Arriva press release on MK Metro purchase arriva.co.uk – Retrieved 24 December 2007
- OFT decision on purchase by Arriva oft.gov.uk – Retrieved 24 December 2007
- Details of divestment and behavioural undertakings by Stagecoach oft.gov.uk – Retrieved 25 August 2010
- Changes to competition law and policies adopted 1997 oecd.org – Retrieved 26 December 2007
- http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/mkstar/ Arriva Milton Keynes website
- Oxford Chiltern Bus Page – "News Page Issue 279" (5 January 2009) Retrieved on 15 January 2009.
- Milton Keynes Council – Bus Timetables Accessed 9 November 2008.
- here MK Metro – Bus Timetables Accessed 9 November 2008.
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