Safeguard Coaches

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Safeguard Coaches logo.jpg
Safeguard Coaches YJ06 FXM.JPG
Safeguard's Optare Tempo at Guildford bus station in January 2009
Founded 1924
Headquarters Guildford, Surrey
Locale For a time from October 1986,the company ran service 550-Aldershot to Camberley.This service was to be the only one operated outside of the Guildford Borough boundary.
Service area Housing areas of Guildford
Service type Urban bus services
Destinations Park Barn Estate
Guildford Town Centre
Website www.safeguardcoaches.co.uk

Safeguard Coaches[1] is a bus and coach operator based in Guildford.

History[edit]

Preserved Leyland Leopard at the July 2008 Alton bus rally
Plaxton Premiere bodied Dennis Javelin in January 2009

Safeguard was established in 1924 by Arthur Newman, when he converted an accident damaged lorry to carry passengers, and by 1927 was running bus services to the newly constructed Aldershot Road housing estate. Shortly afterwards, another service to Onslow Village commenced.[2][3]

However, the main company in the area Aldershot & District Traction challenged Safeguard with six months of competition. After this, the two companies agreed that Safeguard would run the Woodside and Onslow routes, and both companies the Guildford Park service.

In time, Safeguard extended the Woodside route to Westborough and then to Park Barn, and the Guildford Park service reached Dennisville.

In 1988, Farnham Coaches was purchased, adding a significant number of vehicles to the Safeguard fleet.

In 2000, Safeguard gained the contract for the Guildford Shuttle, a free service connecting various parts of Guildford Town Centre. At first, a Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart SLF was acquired. This was replaced by an Optare Alero. However, this proved too small and so another Mini Pointer Dart was acquired.

More recently, in 2002, Safeguard lost some school bus work and Onslow routes 10/11 to Countryliner after ten years. As a result of this, the bus fleet was cut from ten to seven vehicles.

The Guildford Shuttle was withdrawn in August 2008, the council saying it was costing too much to operate.[4] There had been fierce campaigns to keep it going before it stopped and since then, more protests to re-instate it. The local Liberal Democrats have been behind the campaigns. One 91-year old man stayed on the bus for a whole day non-stop and surveyed users of the service.[5] A decision to replace the service with an advance booking "dial-a-ride" services have been met with resistance, users claiming it is "inflexible" and that "people don’t know days in advance when they will want to go somewhere and when they want to be picked up".[6] Campaigners also reject the idea that there are commercial bus services that provide a replacement, as around half the route is on roads unserved by other buses. From January 2009, Safeguard reintroduced the service commercially, but it was withdrawn for a final time in May 2010.[3]

Current services[edit]

Bus routes[edit]

Safeguard currently operate two bus routes. Routes 4 and 5 run in opposite directions, linking Park Barn with Guildford town centre, and from 24 July 2010, Safeguard ran Merrow Park and Ride route 300 using Surrey County Council owned buses freed up following the withdrawal of the Ride Pegasus! school bus scheme by Surrey County Council.From September 2013,this service was being run by Stagecoach who won the contract to operate all of the town's Park & Ride network.(Mon-Fri).For many years, Safeguard ran Guildford town services 3, 4 and 5 jointly with Arriva, however from 23 May 2010 the two companies agreed that Arriva would wholly run route 3 and Safeguard have complete control over the 4 and 5.[7]

No Route Other notes
4 Guildford, Aldershot Road, Southway, Park Barn, Royal Surrey County Hospital, The Chase, Guildford Anti-clockwise ring
5 Guildford, The Chase, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Park Barn, Southway, Aldershot Road, Guildford Clockwise ring
300 Merrow park and ride, Guildford (runs non-stop via Epsom Road) Guildford park and ride

Coaches[edit]

Most coach work is private hire, with a high amount of it coming from local schools. Coaches are also run to the University of Surrey from various places, including areas as far afield as Crawley and Chichester.

Farnham Coaches[edit]

Farnham Coaches logo.JPG

Farnham Coaches was started in 1946 by Peter and Richard Parratt, operating from a yard next to the Bear and Ragged Staff public house in Wrecclesham, near Farnham. The company originally traded under the name "Petrich Ltd" but carried the "Farnham Coaches" fleet name. This operation was purchased by Safeguard in 1988, bringing six coaches into the fleet, most of which were Setras. The depot was not included in the sale, and Safeguard moved the operation to a yard off the A287 Odiham Road, north of Farnham. After some years, the purple and white livery has now been phased out in favour of Safeguard's cream and red, and the Setra fleet decreased.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 273953 Safeguard Coaches Limited
  2. ^ History Safeguard Coaches
  3. ^ a b Safeguard Coaches Countrybus
  4. ^ Get Surrey news - "Lib Dems challenge shuttle bus decision" Accessed 6 September 2008.
  5. ^ Get Surrey news - 91-year-old on mission to save shuttle bus Accessed 6 September 2008.
  6. ^ Get Surrey news - "Decision to scrap shuttle bus confirmed" Accessed 6 September 2008.
  7. ^ "Guildford bus changes agreed despite opposition". Surrey Advertiser. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Farnham Coaches - Home page Accessed 27 March 2008

External links[edit]