|Founded||2 May 1997|
|Service type||Bus operator|
|Fleet||120 (February 2006)|
|Operator||Arriva Shires & Essex|
|Chief executive||Nigel Snow|
In 1997, Stagecoach was ordered by the Office of Fair Trading to divest of its operations in Milton Keynes and Huntingdon. This followed an investigation in 1996 into its acquisition of Cambus Holdings which was deemed to have led to an unacceptable monopoly of bus operations in Cambridgeshire, Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford and Mid Bedfordshire.
The assets of Milton Keynes Citybus were purchased on 2 May 1997 by bus entrepreneur Julian Peddle, using a new company Premier Buses Limited both to operate in Huntingdon (under the Premier Buses brand name) and also as a holding company with which to purchase MK Metro. The operation was rebranded as MK Metro with a bright yellow and blue livery introduced.
On 25 April 2010, the Arriva brand and livery were introduced. Milton Keynes services began to operate under the sub brand of MK Star, and the change of name coincided with a number of controversial service changes.
The fleet ranged from mainly Dennis Darts (high floor and low floor, with a variety of bodywork), to Mercedes-Benz minibuses and Optare Solos. Double-deck Optare Spectras, and Wright Solar bodied Scania L94UBs were also operated.
- Dennis Dart
- Dennis Dart SLF
- VDL SB120
- Mercedes-Benz Vario
- Optare Solo
- Optare Spectra
- Scania L94UB
- Alexander Dennis Enviro300
- Mercedes-Benz Citaro
MK Metro ran over 30 services. Most routes passed through or served Central Milton Keynes. However, routes 16 and 30/31 did not. The routes were generally numbered from 1 to 30, although there were some omissions and some routes in the 30s, as well as a new service numbered 300.
The key services were numbered 1 to 8, and ran every 10 to 20 minutes. Key services ran through the busiest parts of the city, for example to Bletchley and the District centres. Intermediate services ran from every 20 minutes up to every hour. These routes cover areas in more detail, for example serving through the grid squares, while key services mostly ran on the main roads. The other routes ran at a frequency of every hour or less. These services linked locations outside Milton Keynes into the city, or linked neighbourhoods into the nearest centre.
Note that this list of routes is for historical interest. It is not a list of the current routes operated by Arriva Shires & Essex.
Former key services
- 1 / B / C: City Centre – Green Park – Newport Pagnell – Olney – Bedford / Northampton
- 2: Westcroft – Oxley Park – Grange Farm – City Centre – Willen – Poets Estate – Newport Pagnell
- 4 / A / E: Wolverton – Stony Stratford – City Centre – Hospital – Whaddon Way – Bletchley
- 5 / E: Wolverton – Bradville – City Centre – Hospital – Bletchley – Lakes Estate
- 7 / E: Wolverton – Stantonbury – City Centre – Bletchley – Newton Longville / Lakes Estate
- 7 A: Wolverton – Great Linford – Neath Hill – City Centre
- 8: Westcroft – Shenley Brook End – City Centre – Kingston – Bletchley / Woburn Sands
These routes were operated by MK Metro after its take-over by Arriva, but before the rebranding and new timetable launch on 24 April 2010.
- 2E: Wolverton – Heelands – City Centre – Willen – Poets Estate – Newport Pagnell
- 3E: Wolverton – Great Linford – City Centre – Shenley Church End – Furzton – Westcroft
- 6 / A: Wolverton / Bradville – Heelands – City Centre – Hospital- Emerson Valley – Bletchley
- 9 / A: City Centre – Shenley Lodge – Furzton – West Bletchley – Bletchley
- 12: Wolverton – Greenleys – Bradwell – City Centre – Kents Hill – Open University – Caldecotte
- 20: Bletchley – Tattenhoe – Westcroft – City Centre – Hospital – Walnut Tree
- 26E: Bletchley – Furzton – City Centre – Walnut Tree – Kingston Centre
- 29: Bletchley – Hospital – Oldbrook – City Centre – Crownhill – Shenley Church End
- 32: City Centre – Buckingham – Little Tingewick (peak hours)
- 39: Bletchley – Whaddon Way – Oldbrook – City Centre – Crownhill – Shenley Church End
- 300: City Centre – Broughton Gate – Kingston / Magna Park
Other former services
- 11: Milton Keynes – Monkston – Kingston – Woburn Sands – Bow Brickhill – Bletchley
- 13: Stony Stratford – Stantonbury – City Centre – Bletchley – Lakes Estate
- 14: City Centre – Stony Stratford – Old Stratford – Deanshanger / Wicken
- 16: Bletchley – West Bletchley – Emerson Valley – Westcroft
- 17A: Milton Keynes – Moulsoe – Cranfield
- 17B: City Centre – Great Linford – Newport Pagnell – Cranfield
- 18: City Centre – Woolstone – Woughton Park – Simpson – Bletchley
- 30 / 31: Newport Pagnell – Wolverton – Stony Stratford – Bletchley
- 32A: Buckingham Town Service
- 33: Milton Keynes – Blue Bridge – Wolverton – Hanslope – Roade – Northampton
- (NN)11 Northampton – Kingsley – Parklands – Links View – Kingsley – Northampton (only serves Links View on return from Parklands)
- (NN)21 Northampton – University Avenue Campus – Kingsthorpe – University Park Campus (ceased due to contract loss)
- Companies House extract company no 2493030 Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine MK Metro Limited formerly Buckinghamshire Road Car Limited
- Stagecoach Holdings plc and Cambus Office of Fair Trading 5 June 1996
- Companies House extract company no 1963446 Archived 25 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine Milton Keynes City Bus Limited
- Companies House extract company no 3339369 Archived 25 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine Premier Buses Limited
- Changes to competition law and policies adopted 1997 Archived 6 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development
- Arriva acquires MK Metro Ltd Arriva 13 February 2006
- Arriva acquires MK Metro in £5.6m deal Archived 30 April 2015 at Archive.today Bus & Coach Professional 15 February 2006
- Milton Keynes Council – Bus Timetables Archived 5 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 9 November 2008.
- here MK Metro – Bus Timetables Archived 17 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 9 November 2008.