Stagecoach South to take on some Arriva Guildford depot work

Stagecoach to grow presence in Guildford

Stagecoach South will step in from 18 December to take on some of the work that will be given up by Arriva Kent and Surrey when it closes its depot in Guildford.

Stagecoach has registered several new services to take over Arriva routes in Surrey and into West Sussex that are to be withdrawn. It will also extend one of its current town routes in Guildford to serve an additional area jointly with a newly registered route. Some of the replacement services will see enhanced timetables under Stagecoach.

To resource the work that it will take on, Stagecoach says it will need a PVR of 26. A spokesperson adds that 70 additional drivers and support staff will be required, while it is now “actively seeking” a suitable site to base those extra vehicles. Stagecoach South Regional Director Rupert Cox says the operator is “busy recruiting drivers, cleaners and engineers” to cater for the expansion.

As posted on the Hants and Surrey Bus Blog, some of the routes registered by Stagecoach receive subsidy from Surrey County Council for evening and Sunday journeys. Mr Cox adds that the group “has been working very closely” with the local authority to ensure that those journeys continue to operate.

Meanwhile, Rotala subsidiary Diamond Bus South East has registered replacements for a pair of routes currently operated by Arriva from Guildford depot. Both will start in January 2022. They are the 436 between Woking and Weybridge, and the 91 between Woking and Knaphill. The latter service also forms part of the Stagecoach registrations in response to Arriva’s withdrawal from Guildford.

Soon after announcing its plans to close Guildford depot, Arriva entered talks with Falcon Coaches about a potential takeover, but those discussions ended with no agreement being reached.