In March 2017, Arriva UK Bus, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, began to rebrand its bus services with a completely new look. Featuring a new logo and livery family, this is the biggest brand refresh undertaken by the company since 1997.
Arriva UK Bus, which was previously branded as the Cowie Group, was last given its major brand refresh in November 1997. It was at this time the aquamarine and Cotswold stone “swoop” livery which is now synonymous with Arriva began to appear in the North West, with Arriva subsidiary North Western being rebranded as Arriva North West.
This brand further expanded across the North West region in February 2000, after Arriva North West acquired the stage-carriage and rail operations of Merseyside Transport Limited (MTL).
Crosville Cymru was also rebranded by Arriva in late 1997, having been acquired by Cowie Group with their acquisition of British Bus in 1996. It was rebranded as Arriva Cymru, later merging with the North West division to form Arriva North West and Wales.
Today, the two divisions still have close ties, although the North Wales operations are now separately branded as Arriva Buses Wales.
In 2009, Arriva unveiled a new livery family, which included the introduction of the new standard, or Interurban, livery. This was later followed by the “Green” eco-friendly and “Sapphire” premium brand liveries in 2013, with the premium “Arriva Max” livery being introduced in April 2014.
Over the course of the new livery family’s gradual introduction, the logo which dated from the 1997 rebrand was retained.
Now, after two refreshes, and the use of the same logo since 1997, Arriva has opted to completely refresh its bus brand. The latest livery family, which consists of five liveries, first appeared on Arriva vehicles across its network of stage-carriage services in March 2017.
Notably, the first North West vehicle to be repainted into the new fleet standard livery was St Helens based Wrightbus Pulsar saloon CX58 EWM (2699), with Bangor allocated Optare Solo midibus CX09 BGZ (696) being the first in the North Wales fleet to receive the “Standard” new livery.
The five new liveries which make up the new livery family are as follows.
Express, which replaces the “Max” brand introduced in 2014.
Frequent, which replaces “Frequenta” brand introduced in 2015.
Go Green, which replaces the “hybrid” livery introduced in 2013.
Premium, which replaces the “Sapphire” livery introduced in 2013.
Standard, which replaces the “Interurban” livery introduced in 2009.
At the time of writing, there are around 130 vehicles in Arriva’s North West and North Wales based fleets which now sport a livery from the new livery family, these being either the “Go Green”, “Premium” or “Standard” liveries.