Countryliner's MRM7 at the 2007 Cobham bus rally, in the full fleet livery.
|Service area||West Sussex
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 Charing Cross route led to the opening of the bus depot in Guildford. Buses were suspended from normal operation during World War II , but afterwards, Green Line carried on operating from Reigate. The company was involved in the Festival of Britain in 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 subsidiary 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 started 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 vehicles 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.
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.
Countryliner's routes include:
Burgess Hill Town Service (East Side)
Burgess Hill Town Service (West Side)
Woking - Maybury Estate Circular
Petersfield Town Service via Penns Place and Moggs Mead
Lewes Town Circular via Nevill Estate
Crowborough Town Service
Crowborough Cross - Alderbrook Estate
Uckfield Town Service
Stanford Common - George Abbot School
There are more to come.
For more in depth information, please see: List of bus routes in East Sussex.
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.