Stagecoach South East

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Stagecoach South East
Stagecoach South East 15777 GN61 EWB.JPG
The Wave liveried Alexander Dennis Enviro400 bodied Scania N230UD in Eastbourne in October 2013
ParentStagecoach Group
Service areaEast Sussex
Service typeBus services
HubsCanterbury, Ashford, Hastings, Eastbourne
Fleet471 (2018/19)
Annual ridership42.6 million (2018/19) [1]
Managing DirectorJoel Mitchell

Stagecoach South East is the trading name of East Kent Road Car Company Limited, a bus operator based in Canterbury providing services in Kent and East Sussex in the south east of England. It is a subsidiary of Stagecoach Group.


Stagecoach have been operating in the Hastings area since their takeover of Hastings & District Transport in 1989. Stagecoach have made a vast amount of improvements to the Hastings bus network.[2][3][4][5] All the improvements are in partnership with Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council.


East Kent Road Car Company

Stagecoach acquired the East Kent Road Car Company in 1993 and operates many routes with different route branding.


In early November 2008, local press reported that Eastbourne Buses was to be sold by the end of the year to either the Go-Ahead Group or Stagecoach Group. The employees' trade union, Unite, wrote to Eastbourne Borough Council to ask the Council to sell to the Go-Ahead Group, because of work conditions and a superior fleet.[6] On 25 November 2008, it was announced that Stagecoach was the preferred bidder to purchase. A few days later, it was announced in local press that the takeover had cost £4 million.[7] Stagecoach had run services in the town until late in 2000 before they were withdrawn, and at the time of the announcement operated services to Hastings and Bexhill from Eastbourne.

The sale caused a lot of controversy, with MPs criticising the secrecy surrounding the sale[8] and blaming each other's parties for the state the Eastbourne Buses got into, the Liberal Democrats claiming the Conservatives "failed to support Eastbourne Buses".[9] There has also been criticism of the low price the company was sold at - revealed at £3.7 million, lower than the original report of 4 - and criticism against Stagecoach, one MP saying that the company has effectively been "given away for nothing".[10] However, it was revealed that Go-Ahead had bid much lower at £2.85 million, so the council had to sell to Stagecoach to serve the taxpayer due to the £1.2 million difference in bids, despite the union's calls.[9]

A Stagecoach South East Volvo B10M/Plaxton Paladin wearing a special heritage livery celebrating 100 years of transport in Hastings, which this bus is from.
Cavendish Motor

In January 2009, Cavendish Motor Services were bought by Stagecoach Group. Stagecoach announced redundancies for Cavendish staff.[11] The company was then merged with Eastbourne Buses and rebranded as Stagecoach.

On 13 May 2009, the Office of Fair Trading announced that it was referring the purchase of Eastbourne Buses and Cavendish Motor Services by Stagecoach to the Competition Commission.[12] Although the provisional decision found that the acquisitions had substantially lessened competition, the Competition Commission cleared the purchase in October 2009 after deciding that Cavendish would have chosen either to reduce its services substantially or even to close its operations altogether following Stagecoach's acquisition of Eastbourne Buses.[13]


Eastonways was an independent bus and coach operator providing regular bus services in and around Thanet, Kent in England.[14] The company's services, either fully or partly funded by Kent County Council, regularly operated in Margate, Westgate, Broadstairs, St Peters, Ramsgate and surrounding villages, Birchington, Acol, Manston, Minster & Monkton. In March 2012, six of their buses were set alight at the company's depot in Ramsgate in an act of arson.[15] In October 2013, the company was placed in liquidation and most routes were taken over by Stagecoach on behalf of Kent County Council.[16]


On 22 January 2012, 11 new Alexander Dennis Enviro400 bodied Scania N230UD's were introduced on The Wave 99 that runs between Hastings and Eastbourne via Bexhill and Pevensey Bay.[17]

On 19 April 2012, 23 new Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart's were introduced on the local Hastings Arrow routes.[18]

On 30 June 2013, Stagecoach in Eastbourne introduced a summer only service, Route 110, to celebrate 110 years of bus services in Eastbourne, using a 1967 Eastbourne Buses Leyland Titan PD2 or a 1950 AEC Regal on a circular service around the town.[19]

From 26 April 2015, Hastings saw a major reconstruction of its bus services. Route 2 was extended from Tenterden to Hastings Station to replace routes 340 and 341. The Wave 100 and 101 also changed, with buses serving Hastings every 30 minutes from Kent. The 101 was routed via Fairlight from Rye to replace route 344. Hastings Arrows' Sunday evening service was slightly reduced due to cut of funding from East Sussex County Council.[20]

The Wave in Hythe

Until July 2017, Stagecoach operated National Express coach routes 007, 021, and 022, which were then taken over by The Kings Ferry. East Kent had operated services from Kent to Victoria Coach Station since 1932.[21]


Branded routes include "The Wave" (routes 99, 100, 101 and 102) which run along the coast between Dover, Folkestone, Hastings and Eastbourne and "the Triangle" which runs between Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "£1 late night bus back to ferry revellers home". Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Eleven new buses for Bexhill route". Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Sharp move for Hastings bus company". The Argus. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Bus service changes on the cards from next month". Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Bus firm is close to being sold". TR Beckett Newspapers. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  7. ^ "Eastbourne Buses was sold for £4million". TR Beckett Newspapers. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
  8. ^ "MP blasts 'cloak of secrecy' over sale of bus company". TR Beckett Newspapers. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  9. ^ a b "How bus company almost went bust". TR Beckett Newspapers. 24 December 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  10. ^ "MP slams bus sale". TR Beckett Newspapers. 24 December 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  11. ^ "Stagecoach axe Cavendish Buses and 40 jobs". TR Beckett Newspapers. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2009.
  12. ^ "OFT refers Stagecoach bus acquisitions in Eastbourne to Competition Commission" (Press release). Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  13. ^ "CC Clears Eastbourne Bus Merger" (PDF) (Press release). Retrieved 22 October 2009.
  14. ^ "Fast food restaurant fire tackled". 6 February 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Fire at Ramsgate depot destroys buses". This Is Kent. Retrieved 13 September 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Eastonways Folds After Rising Costs and Arson". This Is Kent. Retrieved 23 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Eleven new buses for Bexhill route". Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  18. ^ "Sharp move for Hastings bus company". The Argus. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  19. ^ "Classic Route 110". Stagecoach Bus. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  20. ^ "Bus service changes on the cards from next month". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  21. ^ "NatEx ends East Kent's 90-year London connection" Buses Magazine issue 750 September 2017 page 16

External links[edit]