A historic site is vanishing for many of us who remember the excitement of seeing buses at the end of Leas Road. I remember the joy of seeing the buses go to bed as a child. The depot is now due to close due to a business and the opportunity for housing development. This article comes from the Guildford Dragon 9th October 2021
Bus operator Arriva is to close its Leas Road depot in Guildford saying it is no longer sustainable.
The firm has said it is in discussion with its Guildford employees and trade unions and is looking to safeguard jobs and re-deploy as many people as possible.
Arriva has announced that its services in the Guildford area have experienced ongoing decline in passenger numbers over recent years, even prior to the effects of Covid.
The Hants & Surrey Bus Blog website is reporting: “Some may say the writing has been on the wall for some time, and indeed even pre-Covid, speculation was regularly being made surrounding the future of Arriva Kent & Surrey’s operations out of their Guildford depot.
“Not just with frequent mentions of residential redevelopment of the riverside located site, but also the way work has been shed / lost in recent years, and local press reports relating to proposed drivers’ pay and contract changes and the subsequent threat of industrial action.”
The website also notes: “One apparent particular blow came in July 2018 when Arriva lost access through the University of Surrey sites to Stagecoach, whose new routes 1/2 essentially replicated former town circulars 26/27. ”
The routes Arriva currently operates in the Guildford area, as listed on the bus blog website, are: A: Guildford to the Royal Surrey County Hospital. C: Guildford to Stoughton (still registered, but suspended since Covid). 3: Guildford to Bellfields (Sundays). 18: Guildford to Onslow Village. 28: Guildford to Knaphill (one journey). 34/134: Guildford to Camberley. 35/135: Guildford to Camberley. 36: Guildford Circular (clockwise). 37: Guildford Circular (anticlockwise). 47: Brookwood to West End. 53: Guildford to Ewhurst. 63/63X: Guildford to Horsham. 91. Woking to Knaphill (Pirbright evenings, Guildford Sundays). 436: Woking to Weybridge. 479: Guildford to Epsom (Monday to Saturday).
The bus blog website also adds: “It is therefore too early to say what the future holds for the routes currently operated by Arriva.”
The Leas Road bus depot was opened by the London General Omnibus Company in 1932. London Country Buses began using it in 1970 through until 1986. That firm was sold off to other smaller bus companies and eventually passed into the hands of Arriva.
Arriva’s origins go back to 1938 in Sunderland with the founding of T. Cowie, a second-hand motorcycle dealership. Today, Arriva is a multinational public transport business. It was taken over in 2010 by Deutsche Bahn, the German state-owned rail and transport company.