KONECT was formed by Julian Patterson, Steve Challis, Andy Warnes and Maggie Challis in 1999. They acquired the former Eniway Coaches depot in Saham Toney from Norfolk Green, along with the goodwill and contract work. The initial fleet consisted of four coaches, but no buses!
The ambition was always to run buses and gradually the coach fleet decreased and the bus fleet increased as additional tendered bus routes were won. In 2003, the company name was changed to konectbus and the final coaches were sold. In 2004, the 16 vehicle depot at Saham Toney had been outgrown and the company moved to a new, purpose built site at an industrial estate in Toftwood, Dereham; this was subsequently outgrown in 2005 and buses were parked in an overflow car parking site nearby. In March 2013 konect’s new depot in Rashes Green Industrial Estate opened.
In late 2005 Norwich’s Park and Ride sites were revamped with an additional sixth site being added. konectbus won two sites which required 11 new buses, including some double deckers. These contracts were renewed in 2010 and konectbus retained the sites and added an additional site. Soon after, the company won the prestigious ‘Independent Operator of the Year’ award at the 2007 UK Bus Awards ceremony.
In 2009 konectbus celebrated 10 years of successful operation and refurbished the 1977 Leyland National 152 (UFX852S). Leyland Nationals were the first buses Konect operated and therefore it seemed appropriate to preserve 152, which has been with Konect since 2001. 152 only goes out now as a last resort, but it can be found on local school runs and market day services.
In March 2010 konectbus was bought by Go-Ahead Group plc and formed part of Go East Anglia.