Unofficial website for Midland “Red” Motor Services
Optare Solo 53047 is seen winding it’s way down a narrow lane in Cradley just over nine years ago on Tuesday 29th July 2008. The photograph was taken as part of the company’s Route Hazard Analysis (Risk Assessment) and is one of my favourites from the modern era as it shows historic rural Midland “Red” Service 417 still being operated with the same route number after 80 odd years, and it is not in one of the usual town centre locations but out in the sticks.
Also the route was one of my favourites, especially after it was extended back to Ledbury after years of only going as far as Cradley following NBC cut backs in the early 1980s. The original BMMO route ran all the way to Hereford, but it was split at Ledbury in the early 1960s as part of the early one-man adoption at Hereford depot.
The bus in the photograph is still going strong but the driver, a Mr Trevor Sandles, is now passed his best and retired a number a years ago! From Monday 4th September 2017, First Midland Red will once again be operating Service 417 after winning a 7-year contract from Herefordshire Council… Maybe this vehicle will be used on the route again!
† Visitors are reminded that this is not an official website for First Midland Red, or any other bus company, booking agency or local authority etc., so while we make every effort to keep timetables current, it is recommended you visit the official FirstGroup website if you are planning a journey.