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Arriva’s Departure Allows Safeguard to Resume Onslow Village Services After 92-Years

Published on: 24 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 26 Nov, 2021

Safeguard’s buses will be returning to service Onslow Village from December 18, 92 years to the day they last operated there. Picture: Safeguard Coaches of Guildford website.

Surrey County Council has announced that Safeguard Coaches will be the new provider of Guildford bus route 18 serving Onslow Village.

This follows the news in October in which bus firm Arriva announced its plan to close its Leas Road, Guildford depot.

This will be on Friday, December 17.

A number of bus routes in the Guildford area will be affected by Arriva’s departure. Details can be found on Surrey County Council’s website that includes a statement from Arriva: “A previously announced plan for the Arriva business to be purchased by another operator is now unable to proceed. Surrey County Council is very aware that many of our residents rely on these services to get them to work, school, college, shopping, medical appointments, and access to a range of travel requirements.

“The county council is therefore now working closely in partnership with other operators to ensure the continuation of all Arriva’s services without interruption and to achieve a positive outcome on behalf of the travelling public.”

The Arriva bus depot in Leas Road, on the corner with Mary Road, Guildford.

And an interesting historical coincidence regarding Safeguard is that it will mean its buses will return to Onslow Village 92 years to the day the firm last served the area on December 18, 1929, after which a route swap with the Aldershot & District company took effect.

The managing director of family-owned Safeguard Coaches, Andrew Halliday, said: “This must be a record for the same company to make a comeback to an area previously served!”

The managing director of family owned Safeguard Coaches, Andrew Halliday.

Mr Halliday, who is an Onslow Village resident, said he looks forward to providing the high standard of bus service that Safeguard is known for and plans to drive some of the journeys himself on Safeguard’s first day of operation.

From Saturday, December 18 bus route 18 will be also be extended across Guildford to cover Weylea Farm, Bowers Farm Drive, Merrow Park and Bushy Hill.

The route will replace parts of Arriva’s routes 36/37 not covered by Stagecoach’s extended route 1 and new route 6.

Mr Halliday adds that this will also have the benefit of enabling Onslow Village residents to reach the top of the High Street and give Burpham users access to Guildford’s main railway station. And existing route 18 journeys to and from George Abbot School in Burpham will continue to run.

For timetable details of the new route 18, call Safeguard Coaches on 01483 561103.

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Responses to Arriva’s Departure Allows Safeguard to Resume Onslow Village Services After 92-Years

  1. C Harding Reply

    November 24, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    As a loyal Safeguard customer and Onslow resident, I couldn’t be more delighted!

  2. Sara Tokunaga Reply

    November 28, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Unfortunately, the residents of Guildford Park have been left high and dry again by the removal of the A bus which ran between the town centre and the hospital on Sundays. We no longer have any bus service on this route on Sundays.

    The hospital has been making Sunday appointments which we are unable to attend, and we have no transport to take us to the hospital if we wish to visit relatives and friends.

    The Safeguard buses are now frequently overcrowded during the week at off-peak times, as they only run every 20 minutes. Many of the residents around Guildford Park are elderly and rely on the bus service. We have been ignored by Surrey County Council.

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