Go-Coach started bus operations modestly, with an RML in London livery (for hires) and a step-entrance Dennis Dart.
To simplify operations they rented space in Bowens Yard at Knockholt Pound, from where they operated the 421 and 413
for Kent County Council, with the trunk 401 (Tunbridge Wells - Westerham/Chartwell) on Sundays.
DMS19A low-floor Dart/Marshall was acquired in October 2010. Once Metroline DMS19, it had spent a couple of years in the West Midlands. Now the 9.3m bus was painted in Go-Coach livery - a startling yellow and mauve, with a large Go logo. It wanted to be noticed! This became the regular bus on the Kent contracts.
DMS19 on the 401, glimpsed from the cafe in Sevenoaks bus-station in May 2010, and at rest in Otford garage, May 2012.
3179A longer but older bus was acquired in early 2010. 3179 had a fascinating history, much of it in the surrounding area. Starting with Maidstone & District in 1996, the 10.6m Pointer had transferred in 1998 to Dartford, with Arriva Kent Thameside, where it donned Arriva turquoise and champagne. Dartford had it painted red in 2003 for service on TfL services. It had then yo-yo-ed across the Thames between Dartford and Grays, before going on loan to Horsham, where, still red, it acted as spare for the 465 contract. When not needed for that, it worked Park & Ride duties. Metrobus took over the 465 in 2009, together with its buses, including 3179. It moved to store at Crawley, then fairly quickly via Stafford Bus Centre to Go-Coach.
It was repainted yellow and mauve. Whether Kent objected to the livery on its trunk 401 route or what, just a few months later it went into very dark green with Kent Invicta logos.
3179, in its short-lived Go-Coach livery, at Sevenoaks Bus Station on the 401, May 2010, and a year later in the County Links livery for KCC..
3593A younger, 10.7m Pointer2 came to join 3179 ready for the daily takeover of the 401 in April 2010. 3593 was owned by Kent County Council, and came on loan. It had previously been on loan to Southlands Coaches, Metrobus, and Arriva Southern Counties, mostly on the 401. Now it was GoCoach's turn. It went from Kent's insipid white branded livery into the dark green with white Invicta's.
3593 in its Arriva Kent & Sussex days at Sevenoaks Bus Station on the 401, May 2008.
DLD95, 96In October 2010 Go-Coach bought a pair of 10.1m Pointer2s from Metroline, where they had been dual doorway DLD95 and 96. Go-Coach had the centre doorways removed, and yellow/mauve applied. Very smart they looked too.
Taking a Sunday break in the garage at Otford, DLD95, in May 2012.
SPDs2013 saw a need for some larger single-deckers on long country routes, and in the Tunbridge Wells area, and Go-Coach acquired a pair of 11.3m SPDs from Go-Ahead North East (V212/3 ERG).
SPD V213ERG (ex Go-Ahead North-East 8213) took me from Farningham to Eynsford Station in March 2013.
DartIn January 2014 Go-Coach increased the frequency on the Dartford local route 453, renumbering it Dart1 and Dart2. To promote the service Dart MPDs V305MDP and YT51EAC (both acquired during 2013) were repainted overall purple with a white Dart along the flanks.
Expansion in 2014Go-Coach continued to expand its business in 2014, winning more Kent County tender awards. More Darts were bought, three of them short buses from West Midlands Special Needs Transport (two MPDs and a Wright Crusader). Ex-Eastbourne Cadets were also acquired.