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A Fleet Buzz Mercedes-Benz Vario in Reading on service 72 to Aldershot.
Fleet Buzz is the trading name of Countywide Travel, a bus operating company based in Crondall, Hampshire, England. The company was founded in 1995, and operates local bus services in North Hampshire and parts of Surrey and Berkshire. In December 2011 it was announced that Fleet Buzz had been taken over by the Stagecoach Group.
The company was formed in 1995 as a coach and bus company, based on vehicles from Marchwood Motorways and established a depot near to Basingstoke railway station in Basingstoke, Hampshire. In 1998 the operation was moved to the site formerly used by Oakley Coaches in Oakley, Hampshire. Countywide took over many of the routes which the Tillingbourne Bus Company company had been running when that company ceased trading in 2001. On 1 October 2007 the coach business was sold to Weavaway Travel and the bus operation moved to Crondall near Farnham in Surrey.
In 2008-2009 the company upgraded its fleet with the purchase of 8 new Optare vehicles. These include four Solos and four Versas. The buses are painted in a livery of yellow (lower body) and black (upper body).
In December 2011 it was announced that the Stagecoach Group was to take over Fleet Buzz, which at the time of the deal owned 22 buses and employed 29 staff. The company will be run as part of the Stagecoach South division.
The company's regular routes operated as of 23rd April 2013 are as follows.
|Number||From||To||Via||Monday-Friday Frequency||Saturday Frequency||Sunday Frequency|
|11||Farnborough||Paddock Hill||Camberley||Hourly||Hourly||No service|
|30||Farnborough||Basingstoke||Cove, Fleet, Church Crookham, Odiham, Hook||Hourly through to Basingstoke. Every 30 mins Farnborough-Church Crookham||Hourly. Every 30 mins from Fleet to Church Crookham||No service|
|31||Farnborough||Frimley Park Hospital||Frimley High Street||Hourly||3 journeys. 1 terminates at The Meadows shopping complex||No service|
|41||Farnborough||Ash||North Camp||Hourly, but with a hour break between 1150-1250||No service||No service|
|72||Reading||Aldershot||Swallowfield, Hartley Wintney, Fleet||Hourly (every 30 mins between Reading-Swallowfield)||Hourly||No service|
|77||Fleet Station||Fleet Station||Circular service. Fleet town service||Hourly||No service||No service|
|77A||Fleet Station||Fleet Station||Circular service. Variation to route 77||Hourly||No service||No service|
|82||Yateley||Farnborough||Hourly (2 journeys extended to Reading)||2 journeys||No service|
|145||Three Mile Cross||Wokingham||Eversley||1 journey Tuesday only||No service||No service|
Fleet Buzz has a mixed fleet. Four Optare Versas are branded for routes 72/82, with two Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbuses also used on the 72/82, as well as other routes. Four Optare Solos are used mainly on the 11. Mercades Varios used to form the backbone of the fleet, but because they are step entrance they are being phased out. There are currently three Varios left in the fleet. Three Mercedes-Benz 709D minibuses, transferred from the Stagecoach South parent company. Two Dennis Darts support the Mercedes Varios and 709Ds, with an ex-Stagecoach Dennis Dart SLF joining the fleet in 2012.
Some of the Mercedes-Benz Varios and 709Ds will be phased out in early 2013, replaced by eight ex-Stagecoach London buses. 4 Mini Pointer Darts and 3 Alexander ALX200s. One ALX200 is operating in plain white at the moment. Another Alexander ALX200 is currently on hire from Stagecoach South. Another Dart SLF transferred from Stagecoach in April 2013. Also, a Volvo Olympian Double Decker is on hire from Stagecoach on short term basis.
All buses also appear on school contracts for Yateley School. From 14th April 2013 Fleet Buzz will start operating the Alton Cango from the defunct Countryliner bus company. A Hampshire County Council owned Optare Solo will be operating the route.
- Countywide Travel website
- Fleet Buzz fleet list
- Bother in Basingstoke - competition between Countywide and Stagecoach
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