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File:Arriva Shires & Essex 2473 and 2474.jpg

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

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

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Arriva East Herts & EssexEdit

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.

HarlowEdit

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

WareEdit

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 ShiresEdit

File:Arriva The Shires 5156 S156 KNK.JPG

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]

AylesburyEdit

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 HempsteadEdit

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 WycombeEdit

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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

HitchinEdit

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.

LutonEdit

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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/StevenageEdit

File:Arriva YJ55 WSX.JPG

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.

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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, 640 and 642.

HistoryEdit

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]

Route 640 has been lost to Metroline from 6 September 2014. [11]

Bus types in useEdit

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 KeynesEdit

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Main article: Buses in Milton Keynes

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 AbbeyEdit

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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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Template:Arriva Group UK Template:Bus companies in Greater London Template:Bus companies in South East England Template:Bus companies in East England Template:Transport in Milton Keynes

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