Arriva is a privately owned national bus company created in 1998. It was formed following the purchase of the British Bus Group
by Cowie PLC - owners of Thurrock bus operator Thameside. At first, Arriva kept the same arrangements as Cowie with Grays
garage being part of the former County Bus group of garages; Arriva introduced ‘local identities’ and Grays garage became part of
‘Arriva serving East Herts & Essex’. The now familiar Arriva livery soon started to appear, however the local identities didn’t last
long on the vehicles as inter company transfers made it hard to keep things updated.
In 200?, Arriva restructured it’s operations and Grays garage became linked with Arriva Southend - two buses even came from
Southend to Thurrock on Monday to Saturdays and operated on route 383. Passengers were not generally aware though, thanks
to Arriva dropping the policy of carrying the local identities on the vehicles.
Further restructuring of operations in 2002 saw Grays, Southend (and Arriva Colchester) become part of Arriva Southern
Counties. By now, such was the growth that Arriva effectively own all of the former London Country operations including the
Green Line brand, as well as National Express.
Arriva have continued to bid for, and still operate TfL routes 256 & 346 from Grays garage, and have now added the 498 too
(Romford - Brentwood). At the time of writing, Arriva have lost the 498 contract but have gained the 499 (Gallows Corner -
**the 498/499 changes formerly took place in July 2008**
Route 370 became A TfL contracted route from 3/11/07, with just routes 373 (Grays to Upminster) and 383 (Ockendon to
Basildon) remaining as commercially operated routes in the Thurrock area.
**UPDATE**: The 373 & 383 were withdrawn in March 2008, and only the 383 was partially replaced - by extending Southend
route 5 from Basildon to Lakeside via Chadwell St Mary & Grays - quite a turnaround from being Thurrock’s biggest operator
under London Country!!! Route 5 only lasted until February 2011, being curtailed to between Southend & Basildon only.
Currently, the only routes operated in the Thurrock area are the 370 and Sunday Thurrock Council contract routes 44 & 200 - of
which the latter two are operated from Southend garage! Arriva still has a garage in Grays.....providing vehicles solely for TfL
contract routes 66, 256, 346, 370, 375 and 499.
Click Here for the current Grays garage fleet list.