Buses disrupted as company 'goes into administration'

Countryliner bus
Image caption Countryliner runs services in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire

Bus services in Surrey and Sussex have been disrupted after the company which ran them went into administration.

Surrey County Council (SCC) and East Sussex County Council (ESCC) said Countryliner Sussex had gone into administration on Monday night.

Buses to 13 schools and colleges in Sussex were affected, along with bus routes 10 in Guildford and 11 in Camberley, Surrey.

Calls to Countryliner's offices were not being answered on Tuesday.

Near-normal service

ESCC said it was informed at 17:00 BST on Monday that Countryliner Sussex was going into administration, making it almost impossible to let parents and schools know of disruption to services ahead of the morning school run.

Buses to 13 schools and colleges in the Lewes, Battle, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead areas were affected.

The council said it had arranged replacement buses to and from schools to be run by three other companies. A near-normal service operated on Tuesday morning but there were some delays.

Most public bus services formerly run by Countryliner were also operating.

"All the kids got to school this morning and will get home tonight," said a spokeswoman.

"These arrangements will remain in place for the forseeable future, until we can tender for another contractor."

SCC said Countryliner was unable to run bus service 10 from Guildford to Merrow and service 11 from Farnborough, Hampshire, to Camberley.

Alternative operator

It said Abellio Surrey would operate the number 10 instead of Countryliner but service 11 was not running.

The council said it was trying to find an alternative operator and apologised for any inconvenience caused.

Kent County Council said buses run by Countryliner in Kent were unaffected.

Countryliner's website says it operates an extensive network of services in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.

Its services include rural shopping links, school buses and services to the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury.

It also runs services to the Princess Royal Hospital at Haywards Heath and the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

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