From March 1963, Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company Limited (BMMO—Midland “Red” Motor Services) started to take delivery of large numbers of Daimler Fleetline double-deck buses to supplement production of their own double-deck bus, the BMMO D9. These were the first double-deck vehicles purchased by BMMO from an outside manufacturer since the type LD8 Leyland Titan LD2 vehicles from 1953, and unlike the traditional front engine vehicles that had dominated the BMMO double-decker fleet until that time, the Daimlers had the engine housed at the rear. This was somewhat ironic as this was exactly the mechanical layout that BMMO had been trying to avoid when they produced the revolutionary BMMO D10 prototypes three years earlier.
BMMO purchased over three hundred Daimler Fleetline buses new, and in the early 1970s, they also acquired small numbers of used vehicles with the businesses of other operators.
Deliveries of the first batch of fifty Daimler Fleetline double-deck buses began in March 1963. These vehicles were allocated the Midland Red type code DD11, and entered service as crew-operated vehicles with the fleet numbers 5245–5294.
In 1966, as production of the BMMO D9 was coming to an end, BMMO started to take delivery of a second batch of 149 Daimlers, type code DD12, which were of a similar specification the first.
The final class of Daimler to be acquired in significant numbers, type DD13, consisted of 103 vehicles and entered service in two batches in 1969 and 1970. These differed from the previous Daimlers as they were fitted for one-man operation from new and had a second set of doors behind the front axle, thus becoming the only dual-door vehicles operated by the company in significant numbers.
BMMO intended all the type DD13 vehicles to be one-man operated vehicles from new, and thus were delivered with the necessary equipment fitted. However, modifications to the one-man equipment needed to be made to vehicles delivered in 1969, before they could be used, so a number of early vehicles entered service as crew-operated. All were running as one-man operated by November 1969.
On 7th September 1974, MROC acquired the business of Harper Brothers (Heath Hayes) Limited. At the time Harper Brothers had six Daimler Fleetlines in their fleet and these passed to Midland Red as fleet numbers 2229–2234 as follows:
On passing to MROC, all six of these vehicles continued to operate in their overall green Heath Hayes livery from the Heath Hayes depot, which had also passed to Midland Red in the sale. They were soon repainted into the standard “Poppy Red” Midland Red livery, and some had their destination boxes modified to the Midland Red style. When Heath Hayes depot closed on 6th February 1977, all operations and vehicles moved to the newly opened Cannock depot, and later became part of the Midland Red (North) Limited fleet when MROC closed on 5th September 1981. They remained with Midland Red North until the mid-1980s when they were withdrawn and disposed of through various dealers, except fleet number 2231 (BRE311J) which became a mobile play bus called “Gentle Giant” in September 1984.
When MROC closed on the 5th September 1981, the fleet was divided between the six new companies that formed on the following day to replace it. However, by this time over half of the Daimler fleet had already been disposed of, with 104 vehicles being passed to WMPTE when it took control of a number of BMMO depots and services on 3rd December 1973, and another 115 vehicles being withdrawn by MROC at the end of their service life from 1975.
Over half of the Daimlers that were still in service with MROC at the time of the split were allocated to Midland Red (East) Limited, with neither Midland Red (West) Limited or Midland Red (Express) Limited recieving any double-decker vehicles of any type, although both these companies later operated a small number of Daimlers that were acquired after the split.
|New vehicle allocations following the closure of Midland Red Omnibus Company on 5th September 1981.|
|Midland Red (North) Limited
Renamed Arriva Midlands North
|Midland Red (South) Limited
Renamed Stagecoach Midland Red
|Midland Red (East) Limited
Renamed Midland Fox Limited from 15/1/84
|Midland Red (West) Limited
Renamed First Midland Red Buses Limited
|Midland Red (Express) Limited
Renamed Midland Red Coaches Limited
|Midland Red Omnibus Company Limited
“Central Works” - Enginnering support only
|Vehicles withdrawn before the closure of Midland Red Omnibus Company.|
|West Midland Passenger Transport Executive
Passed to WMPTE on 3rd December 1973*
Vehicles withdrawn before 5th September 1981