Arriva Guildford & West Surrey
|Operator||Arriva Southern Counties|
Arriva Guildford & West Surrey is a bus operator based in Guildford, England. It is a subsidiary of Arriva. The company operates services in West Sussex and Surrey, as part of the Arriva Southern Counties division. Services are run primarily centred on hubs at Guildford, Woking and Cranleigh.
Buses in the Guildford area had been operated since the pre-war period by the expanding private operator Aldershot & District Traction. In the late 1960s as part of the process of nationalisation, this company became a subsidiary of the National Bus Company (UK) National Bus Company (NB).
In the early 1970s the subsidiary was renamed, becoming part of the enlarged Alder Valley NBC subsidiary. In preparation for the deregulation of bus services, services in the area passed to a smaller NBC subsidiary, Alder Valley South. This company was privatised in 1987, and rebranded itself Alder Valley once more.
The Guildford & West Surrey brand name was first created in 1990, when the Guildford operations of the new Alder Valley company were sold to London & Country, becoming a part of that company. London & Country at the time was owned by the Drawlane Group, one of the predecessor companies of Arriva. London & Country itself was a rebranding of the privatised London Country South West NBC subsidiary. Buses in the area began wearing the Guildford & West Surrey fleet name and livery in the style of the new London & Country colours, although London & Country branded buses also operated in the area The company was renamed Arriva Guildford & West Surrey Ltd in 2001 with the launch of the Arriva corporate brand, with buses being repainted into the corporate livery, initially with the strapline serving Surrey and West Sussex.
The company was later incorporated into the Arriva Southern Counties division, dropping the strapline, and trading as Arriva Southern Counties. On 7 March 2007, the Arriva West Sussex licence (operating buses from a depot in Horsham) was not continued, with the vehicles at Horsham transferring to the Arriva Guildford & West Surrey licence. However, it was announced in September 2009 that the Horsham operations would be sold to Metrobus, with all routes transferring to Crawley depot (the Horsham depot at Warnham being left unused). All staff and 19 single-decker buses were transferred to Metrobus from 3 October 2009. Arriva maintain a presence in Horsham through hourly service 63 (Guildford - Horsham), which is operated by Cranleigh depot, though it was amended to remove a local section of route in Horsham.
The company operates in parts of West Sussex as well as Surrey. The route network is centred on hubs at Guildford, Woking with Cranleigh and Dorking acting as smaller hubs. Services also reach the towns of Redhill in the East, Weybridge in the north east, Horsham in the south east and Camberley in the west.
Guildford park and ride
- Spectrum Lesiure Centre: Route 100 (Monday - Friday)
- Artington: Route 200 (Monday - Saturday)
Previously, a Saturday-only service from the Allianz Cornhill offices at Ladymead (numbered 101) ran instead of the Spectrum Leisure Centre car park on Saturdays because the Spectrum car park is too small for use as both a park and ride site and leisure centre purposes on a Saturday. However, the Ladymead service ended on 26 March 2011, following a Surrey CC spending cut, leaving no park and ride service from the North on Saturdays. Surrey CC advise passengers to use either Merrow or Artington as a replacement, but as these are on different approaches to the town they do not provide very good replacements. A regular bus service to the Spectrum still runs on Saturdays for users of the Spectrum but park and ride travel is not permitted.
The Merrow site (route 300) which opened in 2008 serves approaches from the east of Guildford, this service was run by Safeguard Coaches. In addition to the three main sites, Surrey County Council also promote use of University of Surrey Car Park 3 as park and ride service on Saturdays, using normal Arriva routes 3, 17, 26, 27, 36 and 37.
Service 436 is operated in partnership with Mercedes-Benz because it calls at the Mercedes-Benz World complex at Brooklands historic racing circuit near Byfleet, on its journey from Weybridge railway station to Woking railway station.
In addition, the route is operated using specially branded Mercedes Benz single-decker buses, a fleet of three Citaros. Despite being 56 registered, the buses are only Euro III-engined and have the old style fronts.
The route used to run past Woking on to Guildford, on an indirect route via Send village, and also did not serve Weybridge, terminating at a retail centre near the circuit. Arriva later withdrew the Guildford to Woking section (replaced in part by Countryliner Coaches), and extended the route to Weybridge.
Most buses in the fleet are painted in either the previous standard Arriva UK bus livery of aquamarine with a large cotswold stone swoop at the front, or the newer "interurban" livery with a blue skirt and smaller "cow's horn" at the front, rather than a large swoop. Arriva changed its policy in 2009, making the previous "interurban" livery the standard livery, and since then repaints and new deliveries have been going into this livery. As of July 2011 there are slightly more buses in interurban livery than the old livery.
Special liveries include the three Mercedes-Benz Citaros used on route 436, which wear a blue and silver scheme in the style of the old Arriva livery, with a base metallic silver and a blue swoop. The Guildford park and ride buses were painted into a purple based oak leaf livery in the first part of 2011, matching the branding used by Surrey County Council for park and ride services. Previously, the buses were painted in the same oak leaf style but in a variety of different base colours: Lime green (representing spring), dark green (summer), blue (winter), brown (autumn) and pink (spare).
As per Transport for London contract stipulations, the buses used on London Buses route 465 carried the all over London red version of the Arriva livery, as used by Arriva London, although this livery no longer features in the fleet after Horsham depot was sold to Metrobus along with operation of route 465. Red London livery saw a brief reprieve in April 2011 when two Mini Pointer Darts were temporarily drafted in to Guildford depot after routes were taken on from Countryliner at short notice.
Five of the six Enviro200 Darts carry route branding for service 91, and a handful of DAF SB120s have route branding for routes 34/5. Various Darts have orange based branding for University of Surrey routes, and a pair of Darts also carry branding for the 42/44.
In 2006, as was done in other Arriva locations, Arriva painted one its buses in a centenary livery reminiscent of Aldershot & District company. The bus has since re-gained standard livery.
The fleet in Guildford is mainly low floor Dennis Dart/Plaxton Pointers. There are couple of examples with Pointer 2 bodywork. Making up the other main part of the fleet are DAF SB120/Wright Cadets. A batch arrived in 2001 for Surrey Hills routes, followed by another batch in 2002 for routes 34 and 35. 5 Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urbans were bought in 2004 for Guildford park and ride services. Another newer VDL SB120/Wright Cadet arrived in 2006, (3970) diverted from an order for Arriva Yorkshire, to replace a 2002 example burnt out. Later that year 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaros arrived for route 436 to Mercedes-Benz World. In early 2009 a fleet of six Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Darts were put into service on route 91. In mid-2009, the final two Dennis Dominators with East Lancs bodywork at Guildford (part of the last batch ever built), were transferred to Maidstone, replaced by two Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400s, displaced from Gillingham. A Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine, which was Horsham's double decker, operated from Guildford for a while after Horsham's depot's sale, before moving on to Cranleigh as it is on the 43/45 School .
Arriva's "Bus of the future" had operated from Guildford most of its life. New in 2002, it is a Volvo B7L/Wright Eclipse. However, in 2009 it moved to fellow Southern Counties garage Northfleet, before going to Arriva Shires & Essex.
This depot's allocation again comprises mainly Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointers and DAF SB120/Wright Cadets. The two Surrey County Council owned Darts, 3591/2, are allocated here, but as with most vehicles, are frequently swapped with Guildford's vehicles.
Before the sale, this depot operated more Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointers, six Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Darts and one DAF SB120/Wright Cadet for route 465, and a solitary Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine, which had only recently replaced a long serving Leyland Olympian/Alexander RL.
- Image of a Guildford and West Surrey branded London & Country double decker bus[permanent dead link]
- Image of a Guildford and West Surrey branded London & Country single decker bus[permanent dead link]
- Image of a London & Country double decker bus in Guildford[permanent dead link]
- Arriva official site Archived 25 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine. Southern Counties history page, accessed 11 September 2008
- arrivabus.co.uk - area map of Surrey and West Sussex services[permanent dead link] Accessed 11 September 2008
- Surrey County Council - "Guildford town park and ride" Archived 3 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Mercedes-Benz World Take the bus page, accessed 11 September 2008
- British Bus Publishing - Arriva Bus Handbook 2008 ISBN 978-1-904875-27-7
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