A669XDA was a Mercedes-Benz L508D mini-coach with a DP19F Reeves Burgess body acquired by Midland Red West Limited on 23rd December 1986 with the business of Midland Red Coaches Limited.
Under the control of Midland Red West Limited, A669XDA was delicensed and sent to Carlyle Works to be converted for bus work. A destination blind, one-man operation equipment and a power operated door were fitted which required two seats to be removed making it DP17F. The vehicle was repainted into yellow, red and orange “Reddilink” livery, relicensed and entered service at Redditch depot on Tuesday 7th April 1987, with the fleet number 1405.
1405 was unpopular with drivers, and having only 17 seats made it a poor substitute for a Mercedes-Benz L608D. It was later moved to Digbeth depot as a spare vehicle and driver trainer, then finally to Kidderminster depot where it was used on the local Kidderminster Service 7 to Green Hill and for driver training. 1405 survived long enough with Midland Red West to be repainted into the standard bus livery of red and cream, and was finally withdrawn in November 1995, being store at Worcester depot for a short time before being scrapped.
Details and photographs of this vehicle in service with Midland Red (Express) Limited can be found on the “Midland Red Express - Miscellaneous vehicles" page.
On 28th January 2003, three Mercedes-Benz 811D minibuses with Marshall bodywork, registration numbers N523REW and P489–P490CEG, arrived at the First Midland Red depot in Worcester from First Leicester. Initially it was believed these vehicles were at Worcester to be serviced and put through and MOT before returning to Leicester, and after being stored for a few days they were moved indoors for work to begin.
However on the 3rd March 2003, one of these vehicles, P489CEG entered service with First Midland Red at Redditch depot retaining its London red livery and First Leicester fleet number of 729. The vehicle saw use mainly on the local service 68A and service 70 on the Redditch Overground routes, and carried a temporary destination display made from a sheet of A4 paper! Shortly after 729 entered service it was renumbered to fleet number 1289 to bring it inline with the First Midland Red system of fleet numbers.
N523REW was taken to receive a new gearbox on 20th March 2003, as the reverse gear was missing, and P490CEG has also experienced a number of serious gearbox problems. By 28th March, both vehicles had been repaired and renumbered by First Midland Red to fleet numbers 1283 (registration number N523REW) and 1290 (registration number P490CEG), with 1290 having its “Barbie2” fade fitted at that time.
An additional two Mercedes-Benz 811D were passed to First Midland Red in the following months. These were fleet number 1285 (registration number N525REW) which was passed on to First Glasgow without seeing use with First Midland Red, and fleet number 1286 (registration number N526REW) which replaced 1289 at Redditch depot in June 2003, when that vehicle was withdrawn with mechanical failure.
Fleet numbers 1283 and 1286 (registration numbers N523REW and N526REW) were transferred to Hereford depot in July 2003. Number 1283 was withdrawn in April 2004, and the two remaining examples, fleet numbers 1286 and 1290, were withdrawn in August 2005.
Midland Red West Limited acquired E807MOU in February 1997 for use on the Service C10 School Contract operated from Worcester depot. Until this time one of the 49-seat Leyland Leopard coaches, either fleet number 853 or 854, had been used but flowing a number of minor accidents in the narrow lanes around Alfrick the company decided a smaller vehicle was required. The contract required a vehicle with seatbelts and a minimum capacity of 28 but at the time Midland Red West did not have any suitable vehicles.
E807MOU carried a B29F Optare body and was acquired from First Western National, Truro, where it had carried the fleet number 3807. The engine had to be replaced before the vehicle could enter service as original unit had expired during the long journey from Cornwall to Worcester. The required seatbelts were also fitted at the same time and 807 finally entered service, still in Western National livery, about a month behind schedule.
It was unpopular with drivers at Worcester because of its terrible reliability and extremely soft suspension that made one feel seasick. When the main fleet of Mercedes L608D minibuses were replaced with Mercedes 0.814 Vario minibuses in August 1998, the popularity of 807 further diminished as it was left as the only vehicle operated at Worcester with a manual gearbox.
Although 807 was acquired for the C10 schools contract, it was also used on a number of other services such as service 147 between Worcester and Redditch, and the lunchtime service 312 and 313 from Worcester to Clifton-Upon-Teme. First Midland Red has since withdrawn all of these services, and 807 later found work on the C8 Droitwich High School contract. In 1998, she appeared on the front cover of a Worcester area timetable shown operating a local Worcester service 23, however although 807 was occasionally used on local city services this was very rare as minibus drivers were not permitted to drive vehicles with more than 22 seats.
In July 2002, she moved to Hereford depot but only saw about four weeks service there before final withdrawal. After withdrawal, she was stored at Hereford depot before being sold to Erith Commercials in February 2003 for scrap.
On the 11th September 2003, First Midland Red took delivery of two Renault Master minibuses with B15F bodywork by Rohill. These vehicles had been purchased new by the Passenger Fleet Transport Unit of Worcestershire County Council using money from a successful Rural Bus Challenge bid, and were to be operated on their behalf by First Midland Red. Initially they were stored at Worcester depot while they were made ready for service, before moving to Evesham depot on Monday 15th September for driver training.
Both vehicles carried County Council flexiLINK livery of orange and green for use on Vale flexiLINK services between Evesham and Pebworth (service numbers 954 and 955) that commence from Evesham depot on Thursday 18th September 2003. The vehicles were fitted with full width digital destination displays, Mobisoft MobiRouter vehicle dispatch systems, wheelchair ramp with space for one wheelchair and a stereo radio cassette player!
Although Evesham depot operated a few Mercedes-Benz 0.814 Vario minibuses on loan from Worcester depot for short periods from September 2001, these were the first minibuses permanently allocated to that depot. Also, as they had 5-speed manual gearboxes they were the first vehicles operated from Evesham depot with a clutch pedal since Shortened Ford R1014 number 371 (registration number PHA371M) was loaned to Midland Red (West) Limited at that depot in from February 1982 to December 1983, unless anyone knows better…
Both vehicles suffered from reliability problems and 54093 (registration number VN52KXM) returned to Worcestershire County Council in November 2005, being replaced by a Mercedes-Benz 0.814 Vario minibus. The County Council withdrew their flexiLINK services in the Evesham area on 26th February 2006, with the remaining vehicle returning to the County Council two weeks later.
In November 1990, Digbeth depot received number Peugeot-Talbot Pullman minibus. These buses were very distinct as they had a twin axle at the rear and were painted in a green and yellow Cenro “Quickstep” livery. They were leased to Midland Red West Limited for three years from the manufacture with Centro paying the bills. At the end of the contract Midland Red West Limited bought the vehicles which later found their way to Kidderminster depot. By the end of their service most had been repainted in red and cream Midland Red West bus livery.
When the new Mercedes-Benz 0.814 Vario fleet arrived at Worcester depot in 1998, the Peugeot-Talbots were either scrapped or sold and replaced by ex-Worcester Mercedes-Benz L608D minibuses. At least one was transferred to Hereford depot.
|Fleet #||Reg #||Service Dates||Dpt||Disposal||Further Information|
|New as B22F to Peugeot-Talbot, Ryton-on-Dunsmore as a Demonstrator. On loan to Midland Red West Limited between November 1989 and Aptil 1990.|
|1241||G241 AHP||11/1989||–||4/1990||–||Returned||New (11/89) to Peugeot-Talbot as a Demonstrator. On loan to Midland Red West Ltd, Worcester (24/11/89–4/4/90) - RH.|
|Leased from new as B22F to Midland Red West Limited at Digbeth depot in yellow and green centro livery with “Quickstep” branding. Passed to Midland Red West in 1993.|
|1801||H201 JHP||11/1990||–||5/1995||DH||SOLD||Withdrawn (5/95). Repainted (5/95) to all white livey. Passed to Wessex (c. 6/95) for use on Bristol Airport shuttle service in National Express livery.|
|1802||H202 JHP||11/1990||–||5/1995||DH||SOLD||Withdrawn (5/95). Passed to First PMT (5/95)|
|1803||H203 JHP||11/1990||–||5/1995||DH||SOLD||Withdrawn (5/95). Passed to First PMT (5/95), Since withdrawn|
|1804||H204 JHP||11/1990||–||7/1996||DH||Scrapped||KR (6/95). Repainted (10/95) to standard red & cream MRW bus livery. Withdrawn (7/96). Scrapped.|
|1806||H206 JHP||11/1990||–||7/1996||DH||SOLD||Withdrawn (7/96). Passed to R Yarnold, Hereford.|
|1807||H207 JHP||11/1990||–||7/1996||DH||SOLD||Withdrawn (7/96). Passed to ?. Now in service with Clearway, Bromsgrove.|
|1808||H208 JHP||11/1990||–||7/1996||DH||Scrapped||Withdrawn (7/96). store - HD. Scrapped.|
On the 8th August 2003, First Midland Red Buses Limited acquired two Volvo Citybus B10M-55 coaches from First Northampton. These vehicles were originally intended to be used at Evesham depot on school contracts that were due to start when the schools reopened in September. However, as Worcester depot already operated a Volvo B10M double-decker, First Midland Red decided to keep all their Volvos together at one depot and these two vehicles entered service at Worcester depot, with Leyland Tiger 1005 (R/No: B105JAB) being re-allocated to Evesham depot at this time to operate the extra school services.
112 (R/No: G112ENV) had DP53F Duple 300 bodywork, while 114 (R/No: G114ENV) is simular but DP51F, having had two seats removed from the near-side at the front and a luggage pen fitted. Both vehicles entered service in the first week of September 2003, still in First Northampton livery and with their original First Northampton fleet numbers.
114 (R/No: G114ENV) was taken off the road at the end of November 2003. It recieved a full body overhaul at the body shop at Worcester depot and was then repainted into FirstGroup “Barbie2” livery by an outside contractor, returning to Worcester depot on 3rd December 2003, to be fitted with the pink fade.
Shortly after 114 was repainted a third example, 113 (R/No: G113ENV), was delivered and entered service at Worcester depot (WR) on 22nd December 2003. This vehicle is also DP51F, having had two seats removed to make room for a luggage pen. With the introduction of the new First Group numbereing system on 13th March 2004, these vehicles renumbered to 66112-66114.
A forth example, fleet number 66611 (R/No: E111NNV), operated at Evesham depot (EM) on loan from First Leicester for a few weeks in September 2004 while 66613 was a Leicester with mechanical problems. 66611 later returned to Leicester and has since been destroyed by fire.
From September 2002, First Midland Red had planned to operating a small number of Volvo double-decker buses from their Redditch depot. Three or four of these vehicles were to be used on loan from First Northampton for use on the A1 & A2 Alcester Grammar School services, and in early August of that year the first of these vehicles, fleet number: 123 (registration number K123URP), arrived at Redditch depot. 123 was a DPH47/35F Alexander RV bodied Volvo B10M-50 in full FirstGroup “Barbie2” livery and it was used at Redditch throughout August for driver training.
At the end of August First Northampton decided they didn't have enough vehicles to loan any to First Midland Red so 123 was returned to First Northampton without being used in service and First Midland Red were forced to continue using Leyland Lynxs on the schools services.
In early October 2002, First Midland Red were being criticised in the local press over problems with overloading on certain school services operated from their Worcester depot. On the 10th October, another Volvo B10M-50 arrived from Northampton, this vehicle was fleet number: 283 (registration number F83XBD), in the First Northampton fleet and was initally stored at Worcester depot. It entered service at Worcester after the half-term school holidays on Monday 4th November 2002, keeping its First Northampton fleet number of 283.
F83XBD was withdrawn during the half term school holidays at the start of June 2004, and replaced with Leyland Olympian, fleet number 31379.
In November 2005, K123URP, renumbered to 38123 by this time, returned to First Midland Red for use at Kidderminster depot on schools services. She was joined at thet depot in January 2006 by 38124 (K124URP). Shortly before the start of the Easter school holidays, 38123 was taken to the body shop at Worcester depot to be repainted to the new green and red “Greenbus” livery, with 38124 following a week later. During the school summer holidays in 2008, both 38123 and 38124 returned to the body shop at Worcester depot and had their Greenbus livery removed and returned to standard corporate livery.
In 1983 Midland Red (West) Limited acquired two Bedford YMT coaches with Duple C53F bodies from GH Yeomans of Hereford. They were given the fleet numbers 845 and 846 in the Midland Red West fleet, and operated at Hereford depot in full Yeomans livery, with Midland Red West legal lettering and fleet numbers, on a former Yeomans service between Hereford and Credenhill.
In May 1984 the one-man operation equipment was removed from both vehicles and they were repainted into overall white coach livery with red and blue NBC stripes.
845 was withdrawn in July 1987, with accident damage and, with only one vehicle of the type now left in service, Midland Red West withdrew 846 two months later in September. Both vehicles were kept in storage at Worcester depot for about a year before passing to Wacton (dealer) in Bromyard. 845 was scrapped, while 846 was passed on to an operator in Cheltenham.
|Fleet #||Reg #||Service Dates||Dpt||Disposal||Further Information|
|New as C53F to G.H. Yeomans Motors Ltd, Hereford in October and November 1976. Passed to Midland Red West in July 1983 having been on loan since May 1983.|
|845||NVJ 600R||7/1983||–||7/1987||–||Written off||New (10/76), licensed (1/77) to GH Yeomans Motors, Hereford as F/No: 13. Passed to MRW (7/83) - HD in Yeomans livery. White NBC coach livery (5/84), One-man operation equipment removed. Withdrawn (7/87) accident damage. Passed to Wacton (dealer), Bromyard (8/88) for scrap.|
|846||SVJ 300S||5/1983||–||9/1987||–||SOLD||New (11/77), licensed (1/78) to GH Yeomans Motors, Hereford as F/No: 18. On Loan to MRW (from 5/83). Passed to MRW (7/83) - HD in Yeomans livery. White NBC coach livery (5/84), One-man operation equipment removed. Withdrawn (9/87). Passed to Wacton (dealer), Bromyard (8/88), then MA Davis (Arle Coaches), Cheltenham (11/88).|
A former member of the Midland Red West management team had, for a number of years, owned his own historic bus. Unfortunately for reasons best known to himself this BMMO S12 has not been looked after. After many years sat rotting inside Evesham depot lack of space forced a move to Kidderminster depot, where it stayed until shortly before Kidderminster depot was knocked down to make way for a new Tesco store. Then it was moved to Worcester depot, were it still lives to this day. The member of staff has now left the company, and the vehicle has passed to First Midland Red.