Locked out Surrey operator Buses Excetera is back on the road

A Surrey bus operator, locked out of its yard, has now resumed normal services.

Staff arriving at Buses Excetera’s rented depot at Merstham, near Redhill, early on 8 March discovered the gates locked, and a bailiffs’ notice posted..

Unable to access the vehicles, O-Licences or offices, its services did not operate over the weekend.

Initial reports attributed to the company said that an “act of vandalism” was being blamed for non-operation. As a result of the bailiffs’ action, the firm’s website also stopped working.

The firm now says that the issue arose as a result of a civil dispute about the premises’ lease. It has not commented on the reason for the dispute.

Buses Excetera – the trading name of BETC Ltd, which has a 25-vehicle O-Licence – swiftly hired a variety of buses and operated most of its routes, a mixture of commercial and contracted, from Monday 10 March.

It says it obtained dispensation from VOSA to operate without displaying its O-Licence discs, which were still on the buses trapped in the yard.

The dispute was resolved on Thursday (13 March), when access to the yard was regained and services returned to normal.

The firm, incorporated in March 2013, is owned by Group Operations Manager Adam Smith, and runs 11 bus routes in the Guildford, Dorking, Epsom, Woking and Cobham areas, alongside five schools services. It was a buyout by Mr Smith of the bus operation of Coaches Excetra, which is now a seperate operation based in Croydon.