Midland Red (West)
First Midland Red

Service 417: Service History

Service 417 (1981–1986)

Operated by Midland Red (West) Limited

Midland Red (West) Limited took over operation of Service 417 on Sunday 6th September 1981 following the closure of Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited. Soon after, probably around March 1982, the Cradley to Mathon section of the route was withdrawn so the route now only ran between Worcester and Cradley, running in a loop clockwise via Cradley Village, Finchers Corner, Prestons Cross and Stiffords Bridge, before returning to Worcester.

During this period the route and timetable for Service 417 remained largely unchanged, except for some journeys being extended to start and/or finish in Newport Street Bus Station before or after calling at Angel Place.

In the run up to regularisation in 1986, Midland Red (West) Limited gave notice to withdraw an evening return journey. Operation of this journey was won under tender by Smiths Motors (Ledbury) Limited, and was operated by them from Monday 2nd June 1986 to Friday 26th May 1989.

Route Summary

  • Sep 1981–Mar 1982
  • Worcester
  • Bransford
  • Leigh Sinton
  • Storridge
  • Cradley
  • Finchers Corner
  • Maton
  • Mar 1982–Dec 1986
  • Worcester
  • Bransford
  • Leigh Sinton
  • Storridge
  • Cradley
  • Finchers Corner

Timetable Archive

417MRWSpring1983Worcester • Cradley
June1986Worcester • Cradley

Service 417 (1986–1999)

Operated by Midland Red West Limited

After privatisation, Midland Red West Limited operated the route with “Midland Express” branded Leyland Leopard coaches for a number of years. These were quite unsuitable for the narrow lanes around Cradley and were not really required as passenger numbers were low, but later they were replaced with Mercedes-Benz L608D minibuses were used which were much more suitable.

From Saturday 27th May 1989, additional journeys were operated with funding from Hereford & Worcester County Council. These journeys had previously been operated by Smiths Motors (Ledbury) Limited, and were won by Midland Red West Limited under the tendering process. Between Saturday 5th January 1991 and Saturday 28th December 1991, additional journeys were operated on Saturday afternoons by Rover Coaches (Bromsgrove) Limited.

Route Summary

  • Dec 1986–Mar 1999
  • Worcester
  • Bransford
  • Leigh Sinton
  • Storridge
  • Cradley
  • Finchers Corner

Timetable Archive

417MRWFebruary1987Worcester • Cradley
April1987Worcester • Cradley
April1989Worcester • Cradley
January1990Worcester • Cradley
August1992Worcester • Cradley
February1996Worcester • Cradley

Service 417 (1999–2001)

Operated by First Midland Red Buses Limited

In 1997, Midland Red West Limited became part of FirstBus and renamed to First Midland Red Buses Limited on Friday 26th March 1999. At around this time, Service 417 was extended to serve Bosbury and Ledbury again, at the request of Herefordshire County Council.

This arrangement didn't last long and under the tendering process, First Midland Red lost part the contract to operate the service to Bromyard Omnibus Company Limited. From Monday 6th September 1999, First Midland Red only operated two return journeys each day, Monday to Friday, between Worcester and Ledbury, with Bromyard Omnibus Company operating journeys at other times and all journeys on Saturdays.

From Sunday 1st April 2001, the remainder of the contract passed to Bromyard Omnibus Company, who now operated all journeys.

Route Summary

  • Sep 1999–Mar 2004
  • Worcester
  • Bransford
  • Leigh Sinton
  • Storridge
  • Cradley
  • Finchers Corner
  • Bosbury
  • Ledbury

Timetable Archive

417FMRSeptember1999Worcester • Cradley • Ledbury
 

Service 417 (2001–2009)

Operated by First Midland Red Buses Limited

After five months of being operated solely by Bromyard Omnibus Company Limited, a single short-working journey between Worcester and Cradley was introduced by First Midland Red Buses Limited on Sunday 2nd September 2001. This journey departed Worcester Bus Station at 17:45 on Mondays to Fridays and terminated at Cradley (Buryfields) at 18:15. There was no journey in the other direction and no service on Saturdays or Sundays.

From Monday 24th March 2003, First Midland Red Buses Limited started operating additional Service 417 journeys alongside Bromyard Omnibus. The five-year contact to operate all Service 417 journeys was regained by First Midland Red Buses Limited on Monday 6th September 2004, and from that time four return journeys between Worcester and Ledbury ran each day, plus two short journeys between Worcester and Cradley.

Initially Worcester depot were unable to operate the new contract because of staff shortages so all journeys were worked by Hereford depot, and this continued for about two years before the service moved to Worcester depot.

One journey each day diverted to run via Wellington Heath between Bosbury and Ledbury. This section of the route was seldom used and withdrawn on Sunday 31st August 2008, with all journeys running direct along the B4214 from this time. On Saturday 5th September 2009 the contract for Service 417 passed to Astons Coaches.

Route Summary

  • Sep 2004–Sep 2009
  • Worcester
  • Bransford
  • Leigh Sinton
  • Storridge
  • Cradley
  • Finchers Corner
  • Bosbury 1
  • Ledbury

1  During c. 2007, certain journeys via Fromes Hill, omitting Bosbury.

Timetable Archive

417FMRSeptember2001Worcester • Cradley
 

Service 417 (2017— )

Operated by First Midland Red Buses Limited

In May 2017, Herefordshire County Council invited operators to submit tenders to operate Service 417 and other services in the Ledbury area. First Midland Red Buses Limited won this contract, which also included local Ledbury Service 600, Service 675 running between Ledbury, Colwall, West Malvern and Great Malvern, and Service 676 which runs as a variation to Service 675 omitting Ledbury Railway Station and Wellington Heath.

Service 417 was previously operated by Astons Coaches of Kempsey with three full return journeys and four short-working journeys each day, but this timetable was simplified for the new contract to eliminate the short-working journeys and give an overall reduction in service. The contract started on Monday 4th September 2017, which was the date for the start of the new school term, and is for a period of seven years with the option of a review after three and five years.

Route Summary

  • Sep 2017—
  • Worcester
  • Bransford
  • Leigh Sinton
  • Storridge
  • Cradley
  • Finchers Corner
  • Bosbury
  • Ledbury

Timetable Archive

417FMRSeptember2017Worcester • Cradley • LedburyCurrent