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In 1996, Harrogate & District grew again when it acquired [[Arriva|Cowie Group's]] United operation in [[Ripon]]. In 1998 Huntingdon & District was created with the operations of Premier Buses, owned by [[Julian Peddle]], but was sold to Cavalier of [[Sutton Bridge]] in 2004. Cambridge Coach Services was sold to [[National Express]] owned [[National Express Coaches#Airport services|Airlinks]] in 1999.
 
On 15 April 2001, four garages and 230 buses were purchased from [[Stagecoach North West#Stagecoach in Lancashire|Stagecoach in Lancashire]].<ref>[http://www.stagecoach.com/media/news-releases/archive/2001-04-26.aspx Stagecoach sells some North-West Operations for £13 Million] Stagecoach 26 April 2001</ref> Two new subsidiaries were formed, [[Burnley Bus Company|Burnley & Pendle]] with depots in [[Burnley]] and [[Borough of Pendle|Pendle]] and [[Blackburn Bus Company|Lancashire United]] with depots in [[Blackburn]], [[Bolton]] and [[Clitheroe]]. Bolton was quickly sold on to [[Blue Bus & Coach Services|Blue Bus of Horwich]].
 
Between 2002 and 2005, Blazefield withdrew from its operations in south England.<ref name=B&CJul04>{{cite web |title=Blazefield sells up in the South |url=http://www.busandcoach.com/newspage.aspx?id=466&categoryid=0 |work=Bus & Coach Professional |publisher=Plum Publishing Ltd |accessdate=24 February 2013 |date=9 July 2004 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120916205119/http://www.busandcoach.com/newspage.aspx?id=466&categoryid=0 |archive-date=16 September 2012 |dead-url=yes |df=dmy-all }}</ref> [[London Sovereign]] was sold to [[Transdev (historic)|Transdev]] in 2002, the Huntingdon & District business to Cavalier Travel in 2003, and the [[St Albans]] operation sold to [[Centrebus]] in 2004.<ref name=B&CJul04/> In early 2005 the [[Competition Commission]] cleared Blazefield's deal to sell what was left of Sovereign to [[Arriva Shires & Essex]].<ref name=CompetitionCommissionDec04>[https://web.archive.org/web/20050303004848/http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/inquiries/completed/2005/arriva/prov_find_report.pdf The proposed acquisition by Arriva plc of the business of Sovereign Bus & Coach Company Ltd] Competition Commission December 2004</ref>