Bus transport in bromsgrove

Bus transport in Bromsgrove has a long and varied history, dating back to Midland Red operations. In recent years, however, First Midland Red, which has evolved from the original Midland Red company, has severely reduced operations, leaving many independent operators running in the town.

Current operators

First Midland Red

Main article: First Midland Red

First operate a single service in the town, the 144 route which runs to Birmingham in one direction and Worcester in the other. First previously operated many other services in the town, however in March 2013 the First depot's at Kidderminster and Redditch were purchased by Diamond Bus.[1]

Diamond Bus

Main article: Diamond Bus

Diamond operate the WCC tendered services 007 and 140/141. They have expanded through the acquisition of many local operators including Ludlows and Pete's Travel.

Previous services

Diamond had previously operated the commercial 64 service to Birmingham from Bromsgrove and its replacement, service 144. Diamond also operated the 007 prior to Midland Rider taking it over however Diamond have restarted operations on the 007.

MRD Travel

MRD operate a number of local services in the Bromsgrove area, mostly under contract to Worcestershire County Council. They have been operating since December 2003.


Clearway have been operating for a number of years, and have in the past operated several school services. Now they only operate two services in the town, 93 and 99, both running to Charford.

Previous operators

Travel West Midlands

Travel West Midlands used to operate the 145 route in the town, alongside a single journey on the 318 route. Since withdrawing from the area they have been renamed as National Express West Midlands. They last operated in the town on 28 June 2003.[2]


Redline were a small local operator registered in School Lane, Lickey End, Bromsgrove.[3] They operated local services 33, 92, 95, 96, 97, 98, 318, 319 and S23.[4] A previous incarnation of the company had previously operated in Redditch on the 57 and 58 services, though the partnership broke up in 1989.[5]

Current routes

Number From To Via Current Operator Image
007 Oakalls Estate Halesowen Bromsgrove, Catshill, Romsley Central Buses
The 007 route was registered by Ludlows 26 January 1987, at the time only running between Halesowen and the village of Romsley. Seven years later on 31 January 1994 the route was massively extended at both ends to run between Merry Hill and Redditch Alexandra Hospital, via Halesowen, Romsley, Catshill, Bromsgrove and Redditch Town Centre. On 7 January 1997 the section of the route between Redditch town centre and Alexandra Hospital was withdrawn.[6]

Following the purchase of Ludlows, the route passed into the hands of Diamond Bus. The route sparked local controversy in July 2010 when it was withdrawn, however it was quickly replaced by a new operator (Midland Rider) on a reduced timetable.[7][8] From 11 January 2010 the service was extended to the Oakalls estate in Bromsgrove.[9] and from August 2010, Diamond restarted operations on the 007 after Choice Travel/Midland Rider lost the contract.

39B Bromsgrove Longbridge Catshill, Barnt Green, Alvechurch WMSNT

The 39B route was launched in September 2012 to link the town to Bournville College in Longbridge.[10][11]

90 Bromsgrove Catshill MRD Travel

The current incarnation of the 90 route is operated by MRD Travel. It is an infrequent service, interworked with services 91 and 322. The service started on 10 February 2004 replacing the previous Clearway 94 service.[12][13] Extra journeys were added on 5 September 2005.[14]

91 Catshill Lickey End MRD Travel

The history of this service dates back to when it was a short working of the 90/91 Bromsgrove - Catshill circulars, and it has also been numbered as a short working of the 143. The current route is a school service, for Catshill Middle School, with one journey in each direction on school days. It was registered as a stand alone service by First on 4 September 2003,[15] to be later withdrawn on 12 June 2005.[16]

93 Bromsgrove Charford Clearway, MRD Travel

This route was operated by First Midland Red until end of service on 1 September 2008 when First de-registered the route; two days later it was taken over by Clearway of Catshill.[17] It was originally operated to the same timetable, but from 31 August 2008 most off peak journeys were withdrawn. MRD Travel now also run a handful of journeys on the route.

Bromsgrove Sidemoor / Foxwalks Cofton Coaches

These routes were taken over from Rover Coaches by Redline on 3 September 1990, though Rover Coaches continued to operate in competition. Originally a Monday - Friday only service, this was extended to Saturdays on 3 November 1990.[18] Operation continued by Redline until the company ceased trading in 1998, when the routes were taken over by First Midland Red. Four years later Pete's Travel won the contract to operate the services on 3 November 2002, only to de-register them on 4 September 2003 when they were once again taken over by First Midland Red.[15] Less than a year later, on 18 April 2004, the services once again changed hands, and they are now operated by Cofton Coaches.[19][20]

99 Bromsgrove Charford Clearway

When first registered, the 99 route was Catshill - Bromsgrove - Charford, though it was later curtailed to run Bromsgrove - Charford only. Currently operated by Clearway in addition to the 93 service.

141 Bromsgrove Droitwich Stoke Prior, Wychbold Diamond Bus

This route was operated by Midland Red West until 31 August 1996 when the contract was lost to the Little Red Bus Company. An evening service was not included in this contract and so it was withdrawn from that date.[6] Operation of the service returned to Midland Red West some years later. On 18 April 2004, service 140 was withdrawn and the 141 was reduced to operate at peak times only; off peak services were replaced by a new 940 service, which is pre-bookable by telephone.[21][22] The 140 variant of this service was withdrawn on 14 April 2013.[23]

From 12 April 2009, Diamond Bus won the contract to operate this service once again as routes 140 and 141, replacing First.[24]

Princess of Wales Hospital
Redditch Tardebigge, Aston Fields, Bromsgrove Diamond Bus

The first incarnation of the 143 route ran from Birmingham - Bromsgrove - Charford, eventually being changed to run Birmingham - Bromsgrove - Redditch - Alexandra Hospital, though the hospital extension was withdrawn in the late 1990s. 18 April 2004 saw the first of many changes to the route, it being re-routed in the Catshill area to replace the withdrawn 94 service. A year later on 12 June 2005 the 143 route was cut back to run Catshill - Bromsgrove - Redditch only, with its frequency halved.[25] 4 September 2005 saw the route further cut back to run Bromsgrove - Redditch; an increase in the frequency of the 144 route made the Bromsgrove - Catshill section redundant.[26]

Hardings Coaches and Johnsons Coaches took over several journeys throughout 2006 and 2007 - the first operation on the route by an operator other than First Midland Red in the route's history. On 8 June 2008 several journeys were re-routed in the Bromsgrove area to serve the Charford estate. Diamond Bus won the contract to operate several journeys on 31 August 2008, replacing Hardings Coaches and Johnsons Coaches on the route.

From 5 January 2009 many journeys were once again extended to Birmingham, though now operating via Lickey End, rather than Catshill.[27] This is in competition with Diamond Bus, who shortly after dropped their fares to match those of First.

In March 2013, First's Redditch operation (which runs this service) was sold to Diamond Bus who have continued operation on this route.[1]

144 Birmingham Worcester Rubery, Marlbrook, Catshill, Bromsgrove, Droitwich First

Services on the 144 corridor running between Droitwich and Great Malvern go back to 1913, eventually being extended to Birmingham in 1914. At that time the route was numbered 25, and later 125. The 144 number came into use on 11 February 1928. The Malvern - Worcester section was withdrawn in 1976.[28] Diamond Bus had a brief stint operating part of the route in competition with First.[24]

145 Bromsgrove Longbridge Lickey End, Burcot, Barnt Green Diamond Bus

The 145 is an infrequent route operated by Diamond Bus. In the past it has been operated by Travel West Midlands[2] and First Midland Red. The full route used to run from Birmingham to Bromsgrove via the Pershore road, however it was curtailed to Cotteridge when taken over by Zak's Buses in 2003 (later Central Connect and Diamond Bus).[27] First Midland Red took over the route in September 2011 when it was revised to run between Bromsgrove and Longbridge only.[27]

In March 2013, First's Redditch operation (which runs this service) was sold to Diamond Bus who have continued operation on this route.[1]

Redditch Barnt Green, Alvechurch Johnsons

Each service operates once a day in each direction.

Bromsgrove Halesowen Marlbrook, Lickey, Rubery Diamond Bus

The 202/204 originally operated by Stevensons was transferred to Ludlows in 1992 and runs an hourly frequency. Briefly in the late 1990s this route was extended to run to Merry Hill; however this was short-lived and within a year the route was curtailed to run between Halesowen and Bromsgrove once again. It is now operated by Diamond Bus.

322 Bromsgrove Catshill Dodford, Bournheath, Fairfield MRD Travel

Clearway originally operated the 322 route between Bromsgrove and Fairfield once a week; however it was withdrawn on 24 December 2003, to be taken over by MRD Travel on 30 December 2003.[29] It has since been extended to Catshill and interworked with service 90.

X7 Bromsgrove Merry Hill shopping centre Fairfield MRD Travel

MRD introduced this service as a 1 journey each direction running between Bromsgrove and the Merry Hill centre. This service only runs Tuesday and Thursdays.

X3 Redditch Arley Kings Bromsgrove, Kidderminster Diamond Bus

The X3 originally started life as the X33. It first ran from 3 September 2000 as part of a scheme to connect the 3 main hospitals in Worcestershire.[30] After several years the contract was taken over by Pete's Travel, however the contract was terminated early on 4 September 2003 as the parent company, Lionspeed entered administration and reverted to operations by First.[31]

Former routes

64 Bromsgrove - Birmingham

When First Midland Red rerouted the 144 route to serve Catshill instead of Lickey End in 2004, Diamond bus registered service 64 between Bromsgrove and Birmingham running along the old 144 route.[25] From 12 April 2009, the 64 service was withdrawn and replaced by similar journeys on the 144, following the route of the First Midland Red service through Catshill.[24]

92 Bromsgrove - Catshill

The 92 started life in the 90s as a route run by Redline in competition with First on the same corridor, however was withdrawn when Redine ceased trading in 1998. The number was reused in 1999 by local operator Clearway to operate a similar service using a different route, however this ceased on 6 February 2004 as it was no longer commercially viable and the council would not provide subsidy.[32] A less frequent replacement service, 91 was in place the following day.[13]

94 Bromsgrove - Catshill

The 94 route used to be a minibus town service operated by First Midland Red until 18 April 2004 when it was withdrawn and replaced by a re-routed 143 and 144 service,.[22] The revised routes only covered a small fraction of the village which caused over 500 people to sign a petition calling for the route to be reinstated.[33]


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