Guildford Bus Changes?

08 November 2021

Two changes come along at once.

There are two developments that are likely to impact the Guildford Bus System.

Short Term

Arriva have announced that they are withdrawing from serving the Guildford area and closing their bus garage on St Mary’s Rd.  Surrey County Council (who control Bus Services not GBC) have agreed with Stagecoach to operate a modified version of the Arriva Routes.

The changes are:

14th December 2021

Arriva Service A will cease

18 December 2021

34/35/134/135 - Taken over by Stagecoach with increased service on Saturdays. All journeys numbered 34 or 35

36/37 - Withdrawn – See Stagecoach services 1 and 6 below.

47 - Taken over by Stagecoach

53 - Taken over by Stagecoach with increased service on Saturdays

63 - Taken over by Stagecoach

91 - Taken over by Stagecoach with increased service on Saturdays and Sundays

Stagecoach launch modified or new services

1 (Guildford) - Extended daily from Guildford town centre to Epsom Road and Merrow (Bushy Hill Drive) to partly replace Arriva services 36/37. This will give a through service across Guildford to the station, hospital, and university.

6 - New daily service from Guildford town centre via London Road, Burpham and Glendale Drive to Merrow Park, to partly replace Arriva services 36/37

Stagecoach also appear to be negotiation to be acquired by National Express so bus colours in Guildford could be subject to change.

Long Term

The recent Government paper on ‘Bus Back Better’ see link below asked for local authorities to propose plans to improve Bus Services within an environment where councils have more control as proposed in the ‘Bus Back Better’ paper.  Surrey County Council have agreed a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for submission to the government.

The BSIP will act as a key component to secure part of the £3bn funding allocated to Bus Back Better by Government to improve services.  Funding obtained will depend on how the Department for Transport judges the ambition contained in the BSIP submitted by each local authority.  Key Points of the BSIP as presented to Surrey County Council are detailed below:

  • The relative strategic importance of bus routes will be defined by a route hierarchy,  which will inform decisions for selected service frequency enhancements.
  • An expansion of demand responsive transport in some rural areas such as Tandridge, Waverley and Guildford is also being developed.
  • Bus priority measures where necessary and deliverable will be proposed, evidenced by operator feedback on congestion pinch points on the highway network.
  • There is an ambition to expand the availability of multi-operator, multi-journey ticketing schemes, which offer savings to bus users. This will build on the successful ‘Acorn’ ticketing scheme introduced by the Council in north Surrey.
  • A half-fare scheme and a free fare scheme for young people under 20 years of age.
  • A limit on the age of buses operating in the county is being considered, the aim being to improve the quality of the bus offer and overall user experience.
  • The introduction of ultra-low and zero emission buses and community transport vehicles is being developed to replace older diesel buses.
  • An expansion of the Council’s real time information system that gives details of bus arrival times to on-street displays and to journey-planning websites and applications is proposed.
  • Enhancements to bus shelter provision and passenger waiting environments.
  • A Passenger Charter will set out what bus users can reasonably expect from bus operators and the Council in terms of the way services are provided.
  • The BSIP will set out funding from a range of sources to boost the ask of Government, including capital pipeline funding as already referenced, bus operator commitments, our local bus budget revenue, developer and other funding.
  • The BSIP will contain measures to support and strengthen the commercially operated bus network to be delivered through positive partnership working.

The full Draft BSIP is below

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