Fringe Box



Letter: Changes To Arriva Bus Services Are Not Rumours

Published on: 28 Jan, 2016
Updated on: 28 Jan, 2016

From Fiona White, Surrey County Councillor for Guildford West

In response to the original request for information in the letter from Les Ames and published on The Guildford Fragon NEWS, unfortunately the changes are not rumours.

Cllr Fiona White

Cllr Fiona White

Along with the county councillors for Guildford North and Worplesdon, I had an email from Surrey officers to say that they had been notified by Arriva that the changes were going to be made. They will have quite an impact on all three county division. I put a posting up on my Cllr Fiona White Facebook page with the details which I am copying here:

More changes to local bus services:
Since I posted the information about Surrey’s public consultation on bus service changes, I have had an email from Surrey to say that Arriva bus company have just told the council they propose to change some commercial services around Guildford and the changes will come into force from 14th March 2016.

I have set out the changes in full below. A number of them will affect the routes through Stoughton, Westborough, Park Barn, Onslow and Worplesdon.

Route 17 – Guildford West and Worplesdon Divisions:
Guildford-university-hospital-Wood Street-Frog Grove Lane-Fairlands estate (Brocks Drive): Service withdrawn. Fairlands estate would be covered with a diverted service 28 to maintain a link to the university and hospital. The withdrawal of 17 would leave the community of Wood Street Green and the Frog Grove Lane area with no bus service. Those areas apparently account for 19% of the service 17 patronage – 233 one-way passenger journeys per average week on a mainly hourly service

Route 26/27 – Guildford West and Guildford North County Divisions:
Guildford-Stoughton-Grange Park-Rydes Hill-Park Barn-hospital-university-Guildford: Enhanced on Sundays both clockwise and anticlockwise from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes, up to 17.30 hrs.

Arriva logoRoute 28 – Guildford West, Guildford North and Worplesdon County Divisions:
Woking-Knaphill-Brookwood-Pirbright Camp-Pirbright-Stanford Common-Worplesdon-Guildford: This is an hourly supported Monday-Saturday service between Woking and Knaphill Sainsbury’s, commercial from there to Guildford. To be diverted between Worplesdon village and Guildford via Holly Lane, Fairlands Estate (Brocks Drive), Aldershot Road, Park Barn Drive, Egerton Road (for the hospital) and the university. This would leave the sections of the A322 Worplesdon Road between Worplesdon village and Pitch Place and between Byrefield Road and Aldershot Road in Guildford, without a bus service, except perhaps for Sundays when service 91 covers these roads. Journey times for trips to Guildford from Pirbright and Worplesdon would be lengthened by around 15 minutes, doubling the journey time taken to get into town from Worplesdon.

Route 3 – Guildford North Division:
Guildford-Bellfields estate: Reduced on Mondays-Fridays off peak from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes (as on a Saturday).

Surrey County Council are planning to invite other bus companies to consider if they wish to offer anything commercially to cover the withdrawn parts of services 17 and 28, but it remains to be seen whether any of them will want to take them over.

I also add that if you want to contact Arriva to comment on the changes, the details are:
Robert Patterson, Commercial Development Manager, Arriva Southern Counties, Invicta House, Armstrong Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6TX. (;
Chris Burley, Local Manager, Arriva, Bus Garage, Leas Road, Guildford. (

Please get in touch with me if you want to discuss any of the changes by email on or by phone on 07896 575507.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: Changes To Arriva Bus Services Are Not Rumours

  1. George Dokimakis Reply

    January 29, 2016 at 8:24 am

    What has County Cllr White has done to protest about this? Transport and buses come under county responsibility.

    This demonstrates the need for central supervision and provision of buses to provide a service that caters to the residents’ needs not to profit.

    [Ed: I am sure Cllr White will respond. As I understand it, a bus company can withdraw a route at will if it is not subsidised by the county council. Route 17 is not a subsidised route.]

  2. Jeremy Varns Reply

    January 29, 2016 at 11:37 am

    There needs to be a much greater push towards public transport rather than the managed decline that we have at the moment.

    Our roads are congested, pollution is exceeding safe limits and yet local and national government are doing nothing.

  3. Brian Holt Reply

    January 29, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Why are Arriva leaving parts of Stoughton, that is hilly and has a large number of elderly residents and the whole of Wood Street Village, that will mean many people will have to walk over a mile or more to catch the nearest bus?

    The elderly need buses in Stoughton, the students in Fairland can surely walk to the entrance of the estate, and catch the Stagecoach Kite bus to Guildford, and then to the university.

    What is the point of Arriva leaving parts of Stoughton without buses, and change the route to go around two roads in Fairlands, that already has a 15-minute bus service to either Guildford or Aldershot less than 10 minutes walk away

    The No 28 bus through Stoughton runs until late evening, which the present bus into Fairlands does not.

    If the bus changes are for students benefits, what is going to happen during the summer months and over the Christmas holidays when the university is closed?

    The buses will be empty.

    • Bob Smith Reply

      January 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      In reply to Brian Holt:

      The change isn’t for the benefits of students, I don’t know where you have got that from.

      The change is because Arriva are loosing money on operating the No. 17 service, £35,000 per annum.

      You say: “The elderly need buses in Stoughton, the students in Fairlands can surely walk to the entrance of the estate,” but what about the elderly in Fairlands?

      That’s basically the whole point of the No. 17 going into the estate, everyone else ‘does’ walk up to the main road and catch the more frequent, faster service already.

      I agree none of these changes are at all ideal, but to be fair, the current No. 28 route through Stoughton is no further away from more frequent services down adjacent roads than the No. 17 is at Fairlands, where you want people to walk.

      Also, the No. 28 does not run into the late evening.

  4. George Potter Reply

    January 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Since George Dokimakis is a Labour activist I’m sure he’ll be aware that the privatisation of bus routes is something brought in during the 1980s by the government of Margaret Thatcher.

    The changes which were brought in, which have not been reversed by any government since, mean that the only bus routes which county councils have any say over are the ones which they directly subsidise.

    Of course there are ways around this obstacle (more of which in a letter which I’ll shortly be writing to the Dragon) but you can hardly criticise an individual county councillor for failing to stop a private company changing its bus routes.

    And this is especially the case when the county councillor in question is an opposition councillor on a county council where the Conservatives have a 17 seat majority and aren’t exactly renowned for listening to alternative ideas if they come from opposition councillors.

  5. Cllr Fiona White Reply

    January 29, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you for your comments. I agree with the problems the lack of service will cause.

    I have already been told of a volunteer at the Park Barn Centre and students at Guildford Grove and Kings College who will find it very difficult without the buses as well as the people Brian Holt has written about. There must be many other people who are also affected.

    Along with my county councillor colleagues, I have checked with Surrey officers whether Arriva are able to take this action without consultation.

    We have been told that the routes are not subsidised and therefore the company are able to make this decision themselves.

    I have emailed the contacts at Arriva to ask them to reconsider their decisions because of the difficulties which will be caused, especially in those areas which will be left without a service.

    It would really help if people reading these pages would also contact the company direct with their comments.

    I have also been trying to work with officers to see whether an alternative service can be provided by another company.

  6. Jim Allen Reply

    January 30, 2016 at 12:36 am

    As I have said many times before, we need to ask the people who don’t use the bus why, and where would they want to go if a service was provided?

    Once this has been done, then bus routes can be changed to meet the needs of the users, not the needs of schedules and timetables.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *