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The Shires & Arriva the Shires
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The Shires bus company has its origins in the Aylesbury, Hitchin and Luton depots of United Counties, a management buy out being part of United Counties privatisation in 1987. The new company was Luton & District trading as Aylesbury Bus, Hitchin Bus and Luton Bus. The new company acquired indpendent Red Rover of Aylesbury in late 1987, London Country North West in 1990 and a share in Clydeside Scottish's management buyout in 1991. In 1994 the operations were acquired by British Bus and The Shires identity appeared for the Home Counties operations. In 1995 Buffalo Travel was added to The Shires operations. British Bus also had acquired the former municipal fleets on Colchester and Southend. Grey-Green owner Cowie bought British Bus in 1996 as well as County Bus and Coach, which had been part of London Country North East. In 1998 Cowie rebranded as Arriva, with The Shires becoming Arriva the Shires and County, Colchester and Southend becoming Arriva East Herts & Essex. Ownership of the Essex operations have changed several times with involvement of TGM (Tellings Golden Miller) and Arriva Southern Counties and at one time all were combined as Arriva the Shires & Essex. In 2000 the Wycombe Bus operations of City of Oxford Motor Services were merged with the former London Country North West services in the town. Another significant acquisition in 2006 was Julian Peddle's MK Metro operations in Milton Keynes. In 2016 though the company was all but demolished. The original Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Milton Keynes and Luton operations were put in the care of Arriva Midlands. The Watford depot and TfL contracted services from there went to Arriva London and the rest of the company to Arriva Southern Counties.


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