Service 466 was operated by the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) between Hereford City Centre, Hampton Bishop, Mordiford, and Fownhope. Although the route number 466 was not used until 1928, the route itself was one of the first introduced by the company in Hereford, and dates back almost to the opening of Hereford (Black Lion) depot in 1920.
It is not known exactly when the route was first operated, but in the 1920s BMMO allocated all new route numbers in chronological order, with Hereford's first route in March 1920 being Service 86 to Credenhill and Weobley. The Fownhope route was Service 89, so it is safe to surmise it came into operation very soon afterwards.
When the new garage in Hereford started operations only three vehicles were allocated to the site, running only on Wednesday and Saturday for Hereford Market Day. The garage quickly expanded and by 1925 the site operated seven vehicles, and Service 89 to Fownhope had seven return journeys on a Wednesday plus and extra late evening return journey on Saturday. Two return journeys were offered on other days of the week, except Thursday when the route didn't operate.
BMMO renumbered their entire network on Saturday 16th May 1925, and the Hereford area was given route numbers in the range 302–349. It is not known the what number the Fownhope route received at this time, but from Saturday 11th February 1928 the network was renumbered again and the route became Service 466.
On Saturday 11th February 1928, the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) renumbered their entire network, and at this time the service running between Hereford City Centre, Hampton Bishop, Mordiford, and Fownhope became Service 466. Other related routes at the time were the Hereford, Fownhope and Woolhope route which became Service 467, and the Hereford, Fownhope, and Ross-on-Wye route which became Service 468.
Before the Second World War, most journeys in this group of services ran as Service 466 and terminated at Fownhope Church. During the late 1940s and early 1950s the network expanded and journeys were extended so most journeys were being run as the longer Service 467 or Service 468, leaving only one or two journeys a day running as the shorter Service 466.
In the 1960s, certain Service 466 journeys omitted Hampton Bishop and Mordiford, running instead via Rotherwas, and while both Service 467 and Service 468 ran at the weekends, Service 466 ran only on weekdays.
By the early 1970s most journeys had been withdrawn, with journeys that ran via Rotherwas being replaced by Service 462. One weekday afternoon journey to Fownhope remained and this diverted to run via Frome (Sufton Rise), with the return journey running as Service 462 . Only one return journey over the original route remained on Saturday afternoons.
1 Certain journeys run via Rotherwas, omitting Hampton Bishop and Mordiford.
|466||BMMO||January||1935||Hereford • Fownhope|
|May||1960||Hereford • Fownhope|
On Monday 3rd December 1973, the Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) sold a number of depots and their operations to the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE). As a result of this, the company renamed to Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) on Friday 29th March 1974.
On Saturday 11th March 1978, MROC introduced their “Wandaward” MAP scheme in the Hereford area. This saw a large number rural bus services withdrawn, and most of those that survived were replaced by new services at a reduced timetable. Service 466, Service 467, and Service 468 were all withdrawn and replaced with new Service H66 and Service H67 to Fownhope, running over similar routes but with most journeys only running one or two days a week. Service 468 was not replaced.
In September 1981, the County of Herefordshire became a trial area for deregulation of the bus industry. With an uncertain future, MROC withdrew almost all of their rural routes in the county in the period leading up to this change, and as a result the company did not operate any bus services in the Fownhope area by 1980. After being withdrawn by MROC, bus services between Hereford and Fownhope were taken over by another operator with the aid of subsidies. After privatisation in the mid-1980s, First Midland Red Buses Limited would eventually operate buses over the old Service 466 route as part of a contract issued by Herefordshire Council in 2003, as Service 453.
1 Certain journeys run via Frome.