Rutland is England’s smallest unitary authority, and one of the smallest counties. It shares borders with Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. The two main population centres are Uppingham and Oakham, on which much of the public transport network is concentrated. Oakham is also the location of the only railway station, which has a daily train service to London, as well as services on the CrossCountry route between Birmingham and Stansted Airport.
In recent years, Rutland has had a stable bus network provided by Veolia (Paul James) and Kimes of Folkingham (who had inherited their services from Blands of Cottesmore). As readers may well be aware, recent changes of ownership have seen both of these operators become part of the Centrebus group.
The Kimes business had been owned by some of it’s employees for the past few years and sold to Centrebus on 5th July 2011. Their two major services into Rutland are the 9, between Oakham and Peterborough via Stamford and the 12 between Stamford, Edith Weston and Uppingham. The Kimes name is being retained at present.
The more significant purchase, earlier this month, was that of Veolia Transport (Paul James Coaches). Centrebus took over the operations at Saxby, while Roberts Tours acquired the former Paul James Holidays business, and the Leicester Park & Ride services. With the takeover, Centebus now operate the majority of bus services in Rutland and also, it sees them return to Nottingham for the first time since the demise of the X6 from Grantham (now truncated to Bottesford, with some peak extensions to Bingham).
A final point worth noting, Centrebus have registered their new Rutland services on the licence of Romdrive Ltd (t/a West End Travel), a Melton Mowbray based operator that they acquired earlier in the year.
Timetables for the Centrebus services in Rutland are now on their revised ‘Lincolnshire and Rutland‘ website.