Safeguard to grow network with village return after 92 years

Safeguard to grow bus network in Guildford

Safeguard Coaches is to expand its bus presence in its native Guildford by again serving an area that last formed part of its network 92 years ago. The return will come through taking on Surrey County Council (SCC) tendered route 18 to Onslow Village.

The independent operator will begin the service on 18 December, the day after Arriva Kent and Surrey closes its depot in the town. Managing Director Andrew Halliday adds that the date concerned is 92 years to the day since Safeguard last served the area, on 18 December 1929. After then, a route swap with the Aldershot and District company took place.

Mr Halliday has also questioned whether the development represents a record for the same operator to make a return to an area that it previously served.

From the same date, Safeguard will add three SCC-funded journeys on Sundays and bank holidays on route 3 in Guildford. They will complement its commercial Monday to Saturday operation. As a result, in a little under three years the service will have moved fully from Arriva to Safeguard.

Safeguard Coaches AEC Reliance on left
Safeguard will run its preserved Burlingham-bodied AEC Reliance (left) on some routes in Guildford on 18 December to mark the changes

Also from 18 December, Safeguard will extend its route 18 across Guildford to replace parts of other withdrawn Arriva routes that are not covered by changes already announced by Stagecoach South.

To mark the expansion of Safeguard’s network, the family-owned operator will operate its 65-year-old AEC Reliance with Burlingham bodywork on some services on 18 December. It first ran on the operator’s Westborough route in 1956.