Arriva Guildford & West Surrey - History


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 license (operating buses from a depot in Horsham) was not continued, with the vehicles at Horsham transferring to the Arriva Guildford & West Surrey license. 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.

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