On Saturday 23rd November 1985, Midland Red (West) Limited launched a new network of local Worcester City services, named “Citibus”, using a fleet of yellow, blue and orange Mercedes-Benz L608D minibuses. New Worcester “Citibus” Service 32 is introduced at this time to replace the Worcester City Centre to Bath Road section of Service W32.
Route number 32 was also used for a Sunday-only service between Ross-on-Wye and Gloucester, operated by Hereford depot under contract from Herefordshire Council, between c. 2003 and 2005.
Note, the official name for the area to the south of Worcester served by Service 32 is “St Peter the Great”, and this name was shown on Citibus destination blinds until October 1987. However, most people in Worcester now call the area “St Peter's” so this abbreviated name is the one used throughout this website.
At the introduction of the service with the new “Citibus” minibus network on Saturday 23rd November 1985, Service 32 ran every 8-minutes during the daytime and every 30-minutes during the evening, Mondays to Saturday, with an hourly service on Sunday. Buses departed from The Cross is Worcester City Centre and ran via Broad Steet, Deansway and Sidbury to Bath Road, turning into St Peter's Drive and terminating at the junction with Kestrel Drive. Buses would the turn around before returning to the City Centre via Bath Road, City Walls Road and St Nicholas Street.
The service operated as “Hail and Ride” between The Hill Avenue and St Peter's and would pick up or set down anywhere along that section of the route so long as it was safe. However, as with other Hail and Ride services, this was not popular with drivers as the public always considered the safest place to be outside their front door and the driver's opinion on the matter was always wrong. The practice was discouraged by drivers and had almost completely died out by the early 1990, but wasn't officially discontinued until the minibuses were replaced by larger Dennis Dart single-deck buses some ten years later.
With the building of the new housing estate along St Peter's Drive Service 32 was extended on Saturday 6th May 1989 to run the full length of St Peter's Drive and terminate at Greenhill, while the opening of Crowngate Bus Station in 1991 saw the terminus at that end of the route move to the new site along with all other “Citibus” services.
By the end of 1989, the daytime frequency had been reduced to run every 10-minutes and would remain at this level for over 10-year. Evening and Sunday service frequency remained unchanged but these journeys were now supported by funding from Hereford & Worcester County Council. In August 1998, Midland Red West replaced their ageing fleet of minibuses with a fleet of new Mercedes-Benz O.814 Vario minibuses, but otherwise Service 32 remained largely unchanged.
In 1997 Midland Red West Limited became part of FirstBus, and renamed to First Midland Red Buses Limited on Friday 26th March 1999. Changes were not seen immediately, but now under new management the company started to make changes to their services and as minibuses were no longer in favour these soon started to be withdrawn.
On Sunday 18th April 2004, Service 32 was converted to a become a cross-city route, replacing withdrawn Service 21 between Worcester City Centre, Ombersley Road and Bevere. From the same date, all Service 32 journeys on Sundays, and certain early morning journeys on other days of the week, were withdrawn without replacement as funding to operate these journeys ended following changes to the Worcestershire County Council subsidy strategy.
On Monday 6th September 2004, Service 32 was extended past St Peter's to Kempsey and Baynhall, and a new variation was introduced as Service 32A which ran over the same route as Service 32 between Ombersley Road, the City Centre and St Peter's, and then continued to Norton Barracks. Service 32 and Service 32A both ran every 30-minutes and were interworked to give a 15-minute frequency on most of the route.
The operation of Service 32A was short-lived and the route was withdrawn on Sunday 12th June 2005 due to low patronage. The frequency of Service 32 was increased to every 20-minutes to compensate, which was good news for the small number bus users in Kempsey, but bad news for everyone else on the route. The route at the Bevere end was also changed as the service was now often being worked with larger Dennis Dart single-deck buses and these were too big to make the right-hand turn from Bevere Close into Green Lane. Buses now ran via Grange Avenue and the terminus was moved to the New Inn on Ombersley Road as Green Lane was no longer served.
The extension to Norton Barracks return on Tuesday 1st September 2009, but this time it ran as new Service 32B, with new Service 32A being introduced at the same time as an extension to Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Both of these new variations ran on Monday to Friday at peak-times only.
In April 2012, First Midland Red won a Worcestershire Council Council contract to run Service 362 and Service 364 to Upton-on-Severn via Kempsey. At this time, the St Peter's to Kempsey and Baynhall section of Service 32 was withdrawn throughout most of the day, with only three peak-time journeys remaining.
On Sunday 10th April 2016 the City Centre to Ombersley Road section of the route was separated and became new Service 37, running over a slightly different route around the housing estate. One journey to Ombersley Road in each direction continues to run as Service 32 on schooldays to take school children to Bath Road for Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College. This journey replaces a journey of Service 37 and is run using a double-deck vehicle. At the same time, Service 362 and Service 364 to Upton-on-Severn and Great Malvern was withdrawn, being partly replaced by Service 332 running at a reduced frequency of every two hours. To replace buses in Kempsey, certain Service 32 journeys were once again extended past St Peter's to Kempsey and Baynhall to give a 30-minute frequency on that section of the route.
1 Between September 2004 and June 2005, Service 32 runs every 30-minutes over the whole route but is interworked with Service 32A to give a 15-minute frequency between Bevere and Broomhall Green.
2 Service 32 operates every 15-minutes to Broomhall Green, with every second bus continuing to Baynhall to give a 30-minute frequency on that section of the route.
3 Certain journeys to Baynhall are run as Service 332 and continue to Upton-on-Severn.
|32||FMR||June||2003||Ross-On-Wye • Newent • Gloucester|
|April||2016||Worcester • St Peter's • Kempsey • Baynhall|
Between c. 2002 and 2005, First Midland Red Buses Limited operated a Herefordshire Council contract between Hereford, Ros-on-Wye and Gloucester. The section of the route between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye ran as Service 38, and the section between Ross-on-Wye and Gloucester ran as Service 32.
The service ran on Sundays-only and was operated by Hereford depot, typically using Optare Solo fleet number 1701 or 1702 as these were part-funded by Herefordshire Council to provide low-floor vehicles on these routes.
|32||FMR||June||2003||Ross-On-Wye • Newent • Gloucester|