From the late 1920s, Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) operated Service 468 between Hereford and Ross-On-Wye, running via Fownhope, How Caple, and Old Gore. Three return journeys ran each day, Monday to Saturday, with additional buses on Wednesdays and Sundays. On Wednesdays only, most journeys diverted to run via Upton Bishop.
By the summer of 1933, the overall Service 468 timetable had been significantly reduced to only run on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and one return journey on Sundays. Service 468 journeys that ran via Upton Bishop on Wednesdays were renumbered to Service 478, and one return journey of this variation via Upton Bishop now ran on Thursdays.
Sunday working of Service 468 was withdrawn during the wartime period, and did not return, but after the war there was a gradual increase in service with journeys being re-introduced on all other days. The Service 478 variation continued to run only on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the 1950s, but by 1960 the Thursday journey only operated in one direction from Ross-On-Wye to Fownhope, and by 1963 the Wednesday journeys had been withdrawn.
By 1972, the last remaining journey on Service 478 had been withdrawn, and Service 468 ran a standardised timetable with two return journeys on Monday to Saturday.
|January||1935||Hereford ↔ Fownhope ↔ Upton Bishop ↔ Ross-On-Wye|
|May||1960||Hereford ↔ Fownhope ↔ Upton Bishop ↔ Ross-On-Wye|
New Service 478 was introduced by Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) on Saturday 2nd October 1976, to partly replace routes and journeys withdrawn with the closure of Malvern depot on the previous day.
The Service 478 route ran form Malvern Wells to Great Malvern, replacing part of the withdrawn section of Service 144, then to West Malvern replacing withdrawn Service M16. From West Malvern it continued to Wyche Cutting, then followed the same route as established Service 477 to Ledbury via Colwall Green, which had seen a number of journeys withdrawn.
Initially, only three full return journeys were offered each day, Monday to Saturday, and these were operated by Worcester depot, mostly using Leyland Leopard dual-purpose buses. Journeys were inter-worked with Service 477 to provide a two-hourly frequency on the common sections of the route between Wyche Cutting and Ledbury, and additional short-working journeys of Service 478 were operated between Great Malvern to Malvern Wells to provide seven return journeys on that section of the route. This was a significant cut from the 20-minute frequency provided previously by Service 144 between Great Malvern and Malvern Wells, so at the County Council’s request, Bristol Omnibus Company made alterations to their Service 572 to provide extra short-working journeys between Malvern Link, Great Malvern and Malvern Wells (Rothwell Road).
On Saturday 13th January 1979, Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited (MROC) introduced their “SevernLink” MAP scheme in the Worcester, Malvern and Bromsgrove areas. At this time, the network of services in Malvern were revised and Service 478 was renumbered to become Service M8 with no change to the route. Service 477 was also renumbered and became Service M7, and these two continued to be inter-worked with little change to the timetable.