|Welcome to BusZone's unofficial page about
Arriva serving the Shires & Essex. Their official website is at
Arriva the Shires and Essex provide local bus services throughout
Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex and Green Line
coaches into London from Luton and Hemel Hempstead from depots in High
Wycombe, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Luton,
Stevenage, Ware and Harlow. Operations stretch into
Reading with operation of the following routes:
- 800: Reading - High Wycombe via Caversham, Ship Lake, Henley and Marlow
- 850: Reading - High Wycombe via Sonning, Twyford, Henley and Marlow
Optare Solo YK57 FHJ making a very unusual appearance in
Reading on 18th April 2011, it is normally a regular on Line 40 from High
Wycombe to Thame.
VDL SB120 / Wright Cadet KE55 CKP in Reading on 16th April
2011, one of a batch originally purchased for Wycombe Park & Ride.
Dennis Dart / Plaxton Pointer 2 S216 XPP on
route 52 in Amersham on 13th April 2002.
Orange Route Optare Versas make regular appearances in
Reading on Sundays, with YJ57 EKG seen here on 3rd April 2010.
N713 EUR at Reading Station on 17th April 2002.
Volvo B10BLE / Wright Endurance R370 TWR seen on 30th
October 2010 became a regular vehicle on the route in August 2009.
Volvo Olympian / Northern Counties Palatine 1 arriving in
Reading on 18th April 2011 featuring a recruitment livery.
Specially branded Northern Counties Palatine 2 S159 KNK on
Castle Street in Oxford
operating route 280 on 11th December 2001.
Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 SN58 EOH at Oxford Rail
Station on 9th October 2010.
Arriva's operations reached Reading on 14th December 2000 upon take-over of the Wycombe
Bus Company from the Go-Ahead group. At that time the Reading service was operated
jointly with Reading Buses,
Reading operating the 328 variant and the school 330 and 331 journeys, and
Wycombe Bus the 329. The routes were as follows:
- 328: Reading - High Wycombe via Sonning, Twyford, Henley and Marlow
- 329: Reading - High Wycombe via Caversham, Ship Lake, Henley and Marlow
- 330: Reading - High Wycombe via Caversham, Ship Lake, Henley and Marlow
- 331: High Wycombe - Reading via Marlow, Henley, Wargrave, Twyford
and Sonning Halt
The Wycombe Bus vehicles were repainted over the space of about a year,
and in the interim they wore Arriva fleetnames on the Wycombe Bus livery.
Reading opted to give their operations to Arriva from November 2001 to
help ease a severe driver shortage, and the school variants were eventually
dropped. From 2nd September 2007 the 328 was renumbered 850 and the 329
renumbered 800 to coincide with ongoing work to simplify the numbering of
core interurban routes across Buckinghamshire. The 800 also featured new
short workings from High Wycombe to Marlow that were previously part of
another service, which is why it became the 800 rather than the 328 as might
have been more logical.
Wright Handybus (or otherwise known as "bouncy castle") G552
SGT at Reading Station on service 329 on Sunday 18th August 2002.
Bouncy Castle H881 BGN at Newlands Bus Station in High Wycombe on 24th
Former Wycombe Bus Marshall bodied Dennis Dart M504 VJO at
the former Newlands Bus
Station in Wycombe on 24th November 2001. This bus was new to the Oxford Bus Company and
was transferred to Wycombe whilst the two companies were under common ownership.
Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart registration R313 NGM at the Showbus
rally at Duxford on 23rd September 2001.
Former Wycombe Bus Plaxton Verde 622 at Reading Station in January 2001
with Arriva fleet names.
Colchester Ikarus bodied DAF SB220 registration J926 CYL
on display at the Showbus rally at Duxford on 23rd September 2001.
Northern Counties Paladin 1 registration L923 LJD and
fleet number 3139 in Amersham on 13th April 2002.
Former Wycombe Bus Leyland Lynx F559 NJM at Reading
Station in April 2001 with Arriva fleetnames.
M783 PRS at Reading Station on 31st May 2008.
Former Wycombe Bus Plaxton Verde 623 at Reading Station on
12th May 2001 in Arriva corporate livery. These vehicles were the regular
vehicles in Reading for the majority of their lives.
Similar N624 FJO is seen at the same location on 15th October 2003 with
a new coat of paint and special branding for routes 328 & 329.
N415 NRG freshly repainted into Wycombe Connxion livery at Reading
Station on 13th May 2006.
This Leyland Olympian with ECW bodywork is TPD 109X, fleet number 5379
and is seen at the former Newlands Bus Station on 13th April 2002.
Alexander RL bodied Leyland Olympian registration E228 CFC, fleet number
5828 at the former Newlands Bus Station on 13th April 2002.
Leyland Olympian with Northern Counties Palatine 1 bodywork,
registration G129 YEV, fleet umber 5109 in Chesham on 13th April 2002.
Oxford Bus Company acquired
the High Wycombe operations of The Bee Line in around 1991, and branded the
operation as 'the Wycombe Bus Company'.
Alexander AM Sprint fleet number 76 near the former
Newlands Bus Station in Wycombe.
A Leyland Lynx at Reading Station.
Plaxton Verde 622 at Reading Station in July 2000.
A very brief history of Arriva the Shires & Essex is as follows:
Formation of Luton and District
Transport as part of the privatisation of the
National Bus Company, comprising of the Luton,
Aylesbury and Hitchin depots of NBC subsidiary
Luton & District sold to its employees
Acquired Red Rover, Aylesbury
New depot opened in Dunstable in the
former Tourmaster premises
Acquired two thirds of Sovereign (The western part of
the London Country North East)
Acquired London Country North
West (formed at NBC privatisation from the
north-western area of London Country Bus Services),
adding operations in Slough, High Wycombe, Watford and
Slough operations sold to The Bee Line
Purchased by British Bus PLC
Acquired Stuart Palmer operation, based in Dunstable
Chiltern European, the Company’s coaching operation sold
to its management team
Acquired the principle services of Flitwick-based
||Company re-launched as LDT Ltd with a
new trading identity, “the Shires”
||Acquired the principle services of
Motts "Yellow Bus"
||A number of High Wycombe town services
passed to the Wycombe Bus Company
||Cowie Group PLC Acquire County Bus & Coach
(the north east area of London Country Bus Services
operating in East Herts and Essex) from National
||The British Bus group was purchased by Cowie
||Cowie was re-launched as Arriva
||Arriva the Shires and Essex assume
management responsibility for the operations of The
Shires, East Herts and Essex and the former municipal
operations in Southend and Colchester
||Acquired the Wycombe Bus operation of
Go Ahead Group
||Management responsibility for Grays,
Southend and Colchester passed to Southern Counties
||Acquired MK Metro
||Arriva PLC sold to Deutsche Bahn