Countryliner Coaches


Countryliner Coaches

Countryliner is a small independent bus and coach operator, based in Merrow, United Kingdom. It operates in the Surrey and Sussex, running a number of bus and private hire coache services.

History

The history of Countryliner can be traced back to 1911, with the formation of the The East Surrey Bus Company, which was based in Reigate, Surrey. This later became part of the London General Omnibus Company, known today as London Transport.

In 1933, Green Line operated coaches across the home counties and London. The success of a Guildford to Charring Cross route led to the opening of the bus depot in Guildford.

Buses were suspended from normal operation during World War Two, but afterwards, Green Line carried on operating from Reigate. The company was involved in the Festival of 1951.

1970 brought nationalisation, and Green Line lost its link to London Transport, to become part of London Country Bus Services Ltd, which was a subisduary of the National Bus Company.

In 1987, the south west region of London Country became known as London Country South West and sold to Drawlane Group, which later became British Bus. These later came under the ownership of Arriva.

Green Line's private hire department was renamed Countryliner in 1992, and in 1996 London & Country, bought Blue Saloon Coaches of Guildford, a large bus and coach operator in the area. That company was sold off as "Countryliner Coach Hire Ltd" in 1998.

In 2001, the company commenced bus operations and now operate bus, contract hire and private coach hire. A new livery was adopted with a cream or white body, with a lime green skirt. Originally, buses were cream and coaches white, but most vehciles are now white.

The fleet was renewed between 2001 and 2006, with low-floor Dennis Darts making up the bus fleet and a mixture of Mercedes Benz and Volvo making up the coach fleet.

Countryliner Sussex Ltd was formed in 2006 to take over the bus operation of RDH Services of Ditchling Common, in West Sussex. It operated in Lewes, Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath.

In the same year, Countryliner Buses Ltd was formed, which took over the Hickstead operation of Compass Bus, also operating in the Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath area, and through to Brighton. At this time, the Countryliner group of companies operated around 80 vehicles through Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex.

In 2008, Countryliner took over the operation of the Petersfield Town Services on behalf of Hampshire County Council, thus extending the operating area into the heart of Hampshire. In addition to this, more contracts were awarded to operate between Petersfield and Chichester and Midhurst on behalf of West Sussex County Council. [ [http://www.countryliner-coaches.co.uk/history.asp Countryliner - History] Accessed 10 May 2008]

Fleet

urrey

The fleet mainly comprises new and second-hand Dennis Darts with Plaxton Pointer bodywork, but two new Plaxton Primos and 4 MAN/MCV Evolution were added to the fleet in 2006. The coaching base is also here, most of which are Mercedes-Benz. [ [http://www.countryliner-coaches.co.uk/buses.asp Countryliner - "Bus fleet"] Accessed 10 May 2008] [ [http://www.countryliner-coaches.co.uk/coaches.asp Countryliner - "Coach fleet"] Accessed 10 May 2008]

ussex

This fleet is more varied as it was taken over from RDH Services. It contains Optare Solos and Dennis Darts, as well as small amounts of other vehicle types.

Routes

Countryliner's routes include:

*254 Tunbridge Wells - Wadhurst - Ticehurst - Hawkhurst ( - Broad Oak on some journeys)
*266 Kilndown - Horsmonden - Laddingford - Maidstone (Tuesdays only) [ [http://www.countryliner-coaches.co.uk/timetables-detail.asp?id=98 Countryliner - Timetable for route 266] ]
*279 Tonbridge - Pembury - Tunbridge Wells (Sundays and Bank Holidays)

References

External links

* [http://www.countryliner-coaches.co.uk/ Countryliner website]
* [http://davidheath.fotopic.net/c1377862.html Pictures of Countryliner vehicles]


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