With the launch of the Citibus services on 23rd November 1985, Midland Red (West) Limited broke with the tradition of having separate destination and number blinds, and used a single peace blind which showed the route number in a box on the near-side. It is interesting to note that destinations such as Birmingham, Evesham and Hereford were shown at the bottom of the blind even though in 1985, staff were under strict instructions that minibuses were only to be used on local services.
On 30th August 1986, revisions to the Citibus network meant that the destination blind needed to be updated. The main changes included the new service 21A to Cornmeadows, and alterations to services 27, 28 and 40. Other notable additions at this time included service 353 to Crowle and service 372 to Baynhall, both services that ran outside the city boundary. Birmingham, Evesham and Hereford etc were removed from the bottom of the blind, and also deleted was the NBC logo as the blind was produced for use after privatisation. On 29th November 1986, further revisions to the Citibus network saw the introduction of the 36A / 38A circular route, a variation of the 36 / 38 circular route running via the Blanquettes Estate. The destination blinds were not updated at this time, no doubt causing confusion for passengers.
Further changes to the Citibus network, and hence another new destination blind, came on 31st October 1987 when the network underwent a major revision that included expanding to Droitwich Spa. Many new routes were added to the blind, including the 36A and 38A service mentioned above, so the format was change to save space with each route only being listed once, no longer having separate entries for outbound and inbound journeys. Another notable change at this time was the moving of the route number from the nearside to the offside.
When I first wrote this page, I commented that “the October 1987 blind incorrectly listed service 36A as running via Merrimans Hill between Warndon and the City, when in fact the service ran via Blanquettes Estate.” However, I have recently had a conversation with someone who works for First Midland Red planning and they have insisted that the blind was correct as, for a limited time at the end of 1987, service 36A did run via Merrimans Hill. I have a copy of the 1987 timetable which backs-up my argument, but he insists that the company archives state otherwise.
I am now waiting to see this proof! Update (July 2012): I have now seen this proof so it seems the blind was correct and I was wrong!
Citibus destination blinds, as used on Mercedes-Benz L608D minibuses at Worcester (Padmore Street) depot are listed below. Select the required blind from the menu then scroll the window to “wind” the blind up or down. Please note, the font style and size are not accurate although the text is correct.
Thanks to John Finn for sending me copies of early Citibus blinds.