Red Rover can trace its operation as far back as 1928 when Edward Cain registered several stage services based in Aylesbury. The Cain family sold the business in 1955 to Keith Garages Ltd (Keith Coaches Ltd). This owner maintained the Red Rover and Keith Coaches fleets as two separate units for 20 years, when it merged the two fleets under the Red Rover company, although Keith Coaches continued to be marketed for tours etc. In 1985, it was decided to withdraw from coach operation altogether, to focus only on local bus services.
Red Rover operated a variety of commercial and council supported routes. These included town services in Aylesbury to Elmhurst and Quarrendon, along with services to Buckingham, Westcott and Bicester. Ironically, many of these routes are still operated today in various forms.
Most commercial routes were registered prior to deregulation of bus services in 1986, whilst additional Bucks and Herts County Councils tendered work was won. This enabled Red Rover to reach Luton, Dunstable and even Milton Keynes. However, in late 1987, Luton and District (formed out of the erstwhile United Counties) bought the entire operation and fleet and that, really, was that. Within about 6 months all the ex Red Rover buses had been sold and replaced with 'standard' Luton and District-liveried buses
and in model form
During the late 80's, after deregulation, services were added under local authority tender and the network gradually developed. As mentioned above, in 1992 Motts decided to focus again on its coach operation, and the routes were sold to Red Rover. At the same time, agreement was reached with Wycombe Bus and Red Rover was allowed to operate this route by itself. The route via Meadowcroft was withdrawn and the section via Turnfurlong integrated into the Bedgrove service.
Over the next 8 years. Red Rover continued to expand it's operation, particularly on tendered services from Aylesbury where routes were gained from Arriva. However, the biggest expansion so far came in 2001, when Arriva decided to pull out of Aylesbury all together to focus on more profitable services in Herts and Beds, and High Wycombe. Red Rover registered many of Arriva’s routes as commercial services and our vehicles now reached as far as Hemel Hempstead, Chesham and Oxford. A new express coach service commenced between Luton and Heathrow Airports via Aylesbury in 2003, the X1.
Due to continued expansion, a new depot in Aylesbury opened in 2004 and, following tender wins in Chesham and Amersham, a new depot close to Vale Road in Chesham was opened to cater for these new routes.
Further expansion occurred in towards the end of the decade with the take over of service 280 between Oxford and Aylesbury, now renamed Line 280. Innovations since have seen other routes re-branded as 'Premier' services with higher specification vehicles and other service enhancements. In addition, we joined the Countrywide coach service network, where we offer frequent airport connections to both Luton and Heathrow airports.
Services within Bicester were added early in 2013 (tendered and commercial), although just a single service remains in 2023.
At red rover, the focus continues to be on providing the the most reliable bus and coach services to the communities we serve - quality and service redefined